Wednesday, August 7, 2019

CNN Op-Ed: My family's El Paso story is quintessentially American

My family's El Paso story is quintessentially American
By Sergio Troncoso

"I am and always will be the proud son of Mexican immigrants from El Paso. My parents came from Juárez, Chihuahua, to the United States in the 1950's, newlyweds with only a few dollars in their pockets. In the east side neighborhood of Ysleta, they built an adobe house that at first had no electricity and an outhouse in the backyard. Yes, in Texas. They followed other Mexican immigrants who had been coming to the United States for decades. They followed even some Mexicans who were already in the state before Texas was ever Texas. These Tejanos didn't cross the border; the border crossed them.
August 3 will always be one of the saddest days of my life. I love my hometown of El Paso, Texas. Many times in a typical trip home, I have shopped at Cielo Vista Mall and that Walmart where the mass shooting unfolded. This mass murderer from Dallas (Plano, actually) knew nothing about how great this community is and the values practiced by many there."

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

I have a new book of linked stories, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son, forthcoming from Cinco Puntos Press in October 2019. The stories focus on immigration, Mexican-American diaspora, perspectivism, and time. I will be reading and discussing this new book from El Paso to New York, so please check my website for Appearances in your area. Below are some early blurbs. Thank you for supporting my work. I appreciate it.

"Sergio Troncoso is one of our most brilliant minds in Latina/o Literature. These new stories demonstrate that he is also possessed of a great corazón. This is a world-class collection. Troncoso continues to raise the bar for the rest of us."
---Luis Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels and The Hummingbird's Daughter

"A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son is Troncoso at his absolute finest ... a masterwork bursting with immigrant intimacies, electrifying truths and hard-earned tenderness. This is a book I could not let go of, that took me from El Paso to New England to Mexico and to the labyrinths beyond. In these aching stories Troncoso has perfectly captured the diasporic dilemma of those of us who have had to leave our first worlds  - how that exile both haunts and liberates, heals and injures. An extraordinary performance."
---Junot Díaz, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"Our bodies are legacies that encompass landscapes, borders, ancestors, histories that bind us to the past.  Here are stories lodged in the geography of polarities and the taut tightrope act between."
---Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

"In his thought-provoking collection of stories, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son, Sergio Troncoso introduces us to a wide cast of characters, each unique and particular in his or her own way, and yet ever so universal in terms of the human experience. Troncoso’s stories are timely and relevant; only with knowledge can one beat back the bear of a colonial past."
---Christina Chiu, author of Beauty and Troublemaker and Other Stories

“I love Sergio Troncoso’s new collection, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son. It traces epic journeys, both of body and soul, from places like Ysleta in Far West Texas to sophisticated avenues in Boston and Manhattan. But the best part of A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son is the magic of Troncoso’s language, which sings from each page. This book is a triumph, the work of a master writer at the peak of his game.”
---W. K. Stratton, author of The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, A Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Movie

Friday, February 22, 2019

Winners of the 2018 Troncoso Reading Prizes

Thank you Derek Najera, branch manager, and the entire staff of the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library for your work on behalf of the annual Troncoso Reading Prizes. On February 20th, 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.

This year we held the event at the Pavo Real Recreation Center next door, because the branch library is undergoing renovations, including tripling the size of their parking space, new carpeting, new circulation desk, and even a new paint job for the exterior. These changes are so exciting, and the renovated Troncoso Branch Library will reopen in May of 2019.

The 2018 winners of the Troncoso Reading Prizes are: Leo Rivera and Brianna Moreno (1st place), Marisol Ramirez and Judy Aguirre (2nd place), and Adrian Vizcarra (not in photo) and Daniel Owen (3rd place).

What impressed me about this year's winners was how friendly and outgoing and engaging all the students were. I talked about how important reading was for me, as a kid from Ysleta, and how essential public libraries were to improve my concentration, to apply the good family values I learned from my parents about working hard and pushing myself to get better. 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 these 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. (This was our regular schedule before the library renovation, and we will probably go back to it in 2019.) 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 2019 prizes, please contact the library staff at the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library, 9321 Alameda Avenue, El Paso, Texas, 79907. Telephone: 915-858-0905.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Pen Parentis Reading, February 12, 7 PM

I will be reading with Sonja Curry Johnson and Viktoria Peitchev at Pen Parentis in New York City: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7 PM, The Hideout at Killarney Rose (80 Beaver Street). 

What does it mean to be displaced? How do the children of displaced persons feel about their national identity?

In continued celebration of their Tenth Anniversary of Literary Salons in Lower Manhattan, Pen Parentis presents three authors, who will read on the theme of displacement. Q&A will follow, centering around work-life balance. All authors presented at Pen Parentis are also parents - the series aims to shatter the stereotype of what parents write by presenting the creative diversity of high quality work by professional writers who have kids.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Texas Institute of Letters: Literary Contests

The Texas Institute of Letters literary contests are now open with prizes totaling more than $22,000. Deadline is January 15, 2019.

Twelve categories:
  • Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction
  • Carr P. Collins Award for Nonfiction
  • Sergio Troncoso Award for Best Work of First Fiction
  • Ramirez Scholarly Book Award
  • Helen C. Smith Award for Poetry
  • John A. Robertson Award For Best First Book Of Poetry
  • Edwin "Bud" Shrake Award for Short Nonfiction
  • Kay Cattarulla Short Story Award
  • Fred Whitehead Award for Design of a Trade Book
  • Jean Flynn Best Middle-Grade Book Award
  • Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book Award
  • Texas Institute of Letters Best Children's Picture Book Award

Eligibility for the awards requires that the author be born in Texas or have lived in Texas for at least five consecutive years at some time. A work whose subject matter substantially concerns Texas is also eligible. Download the PDF below to fill out form for contest entry and to send work to judges.

Latinopia: Crossing Borders with Sergio Troncoso