Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Writers Corner Live TV Show Interviews Sergio Troncoso

Thank you to Bridgetti Lim Banda (Cape Town) and Mary Elizabeth Jackson (Nashville) for our discussion yesterday on Writers Corner Live TV Show. Just loved chatting with both of you about A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son (Cinco Puntos Press) and the continuing literary influence of my maternal grandmother, Doña Dolores Rivero, who is never far from my thoughts.


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Best of Texas: A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son (Cinco Puntos Press) makes the Best of Texas 2019 list from Lone Star Literary Life. Thank you Michelle Newby Lancaster and Si Dunn.

“A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son, an outstanding collection of connected short stories uniquely reflecting life along the troubled Texas-Mexico border, proves the continued vitality of short fiction as a form. Troncoso tells skillfully nuanced stories from the perspective of a poor immigrant’s son who has found success within the world of America’s elite universities and financial power, yet still feels adrift and alienated, seeking deeper meanings.”

Friday, December 20, 2019

Winners of 2019 Troncoso Reading Prizes

Thank you Suzy Marrufo, branch manager, and the entire staff of the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library for your work on behalf of the annual Troncoso Reading Prizes. On December 18th, we held the ceremony to present the winners with certificates of achievement and gift cards from Barnes and Noble. I also gave each student a signed copy of one of my books.

The newly renovated Troncoso Branch Library looks beautiful. I arrived to an expanded parking lot, gorgeous light from the sunset coming in through the windows, and library patrons quietly reading books and magazines on the new furniture. The circulation desk was also redone. Bravo, City of El Paso, for investing in our local library! Even the reconstruction and widening of Alameda has been finished, so now the road to and from the library is also in great shape.

The 2019 winners of the Troncoso Reading Prizes are: Mirayah Arleene Flores and Anthony Morelos (1st place); Jocelyn Soria and Sofia Aguirre (2nd place); and Isabella Guerrero Cortes and Celine Guevara (3rd place).

I loved chatting with this year's winners and their parents about growing up in Ysleta, education, the importance of reading, and creating a reading culture at home. They asked many questions, and I was happy to have great conversations about how reading can foster concentration, self-worth, and a sense of self that helps you achieve your goals. The El Paso Public Library was where I learned to satisfy that intellectual hunger for ideas and stories, and I could see that hunger and focus in all of these students. Each of them reminded me of who I was many years ago. I love this community, and I will keep returning to Ysleta to award these prizes every year and to talk to families about how they can educate themselves and their children to gain a voice, to reach their goals, and to return and help others.

Every year, we award prizes for students who read the most books between September 15-November 15. The prizes are awarded only to students within the geographical area covered by the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library.

First Place receives a $125.00 gift card.
Second Place receives a $100.00 gift card.
Third Place receives a $75.00 gift card.

All prizes are gift cards from Barnes and Noble Booksellers. A total of six prizes are awarded.

Librarians at the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library register readers during the eligible period of the prizes. The library staff administers the prizes and makes final decisions on all the prizewinners.

If you have any questions or to register for the 2020 prizes, please contact the library staff at the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library, 9321 Alameda Avenue, El Paso, Texas, 79907. Telephone: 915-212-0453.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Austin Public Library recommends A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son (Cinco Puntos Press) makes the recommended list by librarians at the Austin Public Library. I love public libraries, and on Wednesday (12/18) I'll be at the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library in El Paso to give out the Troncoso Reading Prizes. So happy and grateful that librarians in Austin like my book. Support and fight for public libraries!

Austin Public Library: Recommended Titles

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Interview in Blue Muse Magazine

Here's an interview I did with Emma Nelson at Blue Muse Magazine, a publication of Central
Connecticut State University. We met at the Connecticut Literary Festival. I love talking to students who are serious about writing, and Emma was an excellent interviewer. I hope you enjoy it.

"I followed Troncoso to the signing table and bought his new collection of stories, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son. The fifty-eight-year-old author is gregarious and generous; readers ask him questions and he listens intently. With a red pen and glasses tucked into his white-and-grey striped shirt pocket, he signed my book with a friendly smile and was eager to explain the ins and outs of the short stories. He stayed at the signing after the other authors had left. When his books sold out, he sent his wife, Laura, to their car to retrieve additional copies."

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

LargeHearted Boy: Playlist for A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

Thank you, David Gutowski of LargeHearted Boy. He gave me the opportunity to create an imaginary playlist for A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son at this nexus of writing and music. Thirteen songs on Spotify, with my commentary about how they remind me of the characters and situations in my book.

"I listen to music to think and to find inspiration from its emotions, energies, and rhythms. Music is a fount of creativity for me. When I’m deep in a story in my head and I’m trying to work out a character or plot line, or I’m thinking of the many layers of a story, I listen to music. It’s a way of letting go, of immersing myself in something new that is not writing. My favorite music always inspires me to find that solution that previously bedeviled me, or it loosens something stuck in my brain and I often have an aha! moment where I see what I previously did not see. All of this happens when I lose myself in sound."

Monday, November 18, 2019

Bookmarked Interview on KZSM with Sergio Troncoso

My KZSM radio interview in San Marcos is now available on MixCloud. Thank you, Priscilla Vance Leder, my radio host on Bookmarked, and Steve Davis who joined me on this interview.

"Author Sergio Troncoso talks about his compelling new short story collection, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son. These interrelated stories explore the complexities of self and identity through a variety of modes, from the realistic and contemporary to the realm of speculative fiction. Steve Davis, Literary Curator of the Wittliff Collections, joins Priscilla Vance Leder for this thought-provoking discussion."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Texas Monthly: Reinventing the Canon

Texas Monthly: "Born and raised in El Paso, Sergio Troncoso is a prolific short story writer, novelist, and essayist. In From This Wicked Patch of Dust, Pilar and Cuauhtémoc Martínez are raising their four children in Ysleta, a border town. The novel unspools over four decades, and spans from Ysleta to New York City to Tehran in the aftermath of September 11, as the physical, ideological, and religious borders between the family members threaten to separate them for good."

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Must Read Fiction Interview with Sergio Troncoso

In this interview, Erin Popelka of Must Read Fiction speaks with Sergio Troncoso, whose most recent book is A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son. Our conversation followed as delightful a range as the stories in this collection: we spoke of questions of home and varied immigrant experiences to stories of his grandmother as she smoked cigarettes and described living through the Mexican Revolution to the challenges he poses to his readers through his writing.

A few delightful quotes from our conversation: "I'm a little bit of a rebel. I like to unmoor the reader."
From his grandfather: "Don't become a journalist. If you tell the truth, people will hate you forever."

Questions for his readers: "Who are you? Are you who you want to be? What do you keep? What do you discard? Why? How are we going to be a we?"

These questions and rebellions and stories make for a wonderful journey, both in this interview and in the short story collection, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son.

Monday, October 28, 2019

C. M. Mayo Interviews Sergio Troncoso

C. M. Mayo: "Sergio Troncoso is a writer and literary activist whom I greatly admire. It so happens that we were born the same year in the same city: El Paso, Texas. And both of us lived our adult lives in cultural environments vastly different from El Paso: I went to Mexico City; Sergio to Harvard, Yale, and many years in New York City. Sergio’s works offer a wise, deeply considered, and highly original perspective on American culture."

 C.M. Mayo: What is the most important piece of advice you would offer to another writer who is just starting out? And, if you could travel back in time, to your own thirty year-old self?

SERGIO TRONCOSO: Read as if your life depended on it. Read critically in the area you are thinking of writing. Don’t be an idiot: seek out and appreciate the help of others who are trying to help you by pointing out your errors, your lapses in creating your literary aesthetic. Get a good night’s sleep: if you do, you’ll be ready to write new work the next day. And if you fail, you won’t destroy yourself because you did. You’ll be ready to sit in your chair the next day.

Must Read Fiction: Sergio Troncoso