Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Nepantla Familias: Must Read Fiction

Erin Popelka of Must Read Fiction talks with Sergio Troncoso and Octavio Solis about Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Texas A&M University Press). We talk about what nepantla means to both authors, and how this in between creates illusions, conflicting loyalties, and also transcendence. We also talk about both of their pieces in the collection as well as highlights from some of the others writers in the book.


 https://youtu.be/kcOeBjMQkUc

Monday, August 9, 2021

Nepantla Familias: Elliott Bay Book Company

Elliott Bay Book Company from Seattle hosted a discussion and reading of Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Texas A&M University Press and The Wittliff Literary Series). I had a fun and irreverent conversation with Octavio Solis and Domingo Martinez, both authors in our anthology. Please support independent bookstores in your community: they are so essential to nurturing independent literary voices and to creating a local literary community.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1733284733522502&ref=watch_permalink

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Nepantla Familias: Skylight Books in Los Angeles

Independent bookstore Skylight Books in Los Angeles featured Nepantla Familias on their podcast. I moderate a discussion with David Dominguez, Alex Espinoza, and Reyna Grande. They also read from their pieces in Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Texas A&M University Press and The Wittliff Literary Series). Listen to a lively discussion!

https://skylightbooks.podbean.com/e/skylit-nepantla-familias-group-reading/

Friday, July 30, 2021

"Dust to Dust," by Sergio Troncoso, Texas Highways

Here's my essay "Dust to Dust" about growing old in Ysleta, my mother, the struggles and hopes of immigrants, and the values they shared in this country. In the August 2021 issue of Texas Highways magazine.

"Ysleta with a “Y” is where I grew up, where I went to Ysleta High School, and where my heart always returns when I need to heal, when I want to hug my mother. Ysleta is a first principle for understanding my soul—or as Aristotle would define it, a basic proposition that cannot be deducted from any other proposition. Ysleta is where I began, where I was formed. This community is at the edge of the edge of the United States, and I became an outsider and iconoclast in this country because of it. My mother belonged to the desolate landscape of Ysleta, yet she yearned to go beyond it. I admired her, yet when I left home, I knew I was traveling farther physically as well as philosophically than she ever could."

https://texashighways.com/culture/people/essay-growing-up-and-growing-old-in-ysleta/

 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

American Book Review Interview with Sergio Troncoso

Frederick Luis Aldama interviews Sergio Troncoso in American Book Review:

“You are your own best experiment. If you’re digging honestly into yourself, you’re also looking at the problems and issues that that make up the human condition. So I think my ideal reader begins with someone on the border who loves to read. But I also think of readers beyond the border, those who have left and those who have come back, because many do precisely that.”

(Volume 42, Number 4, May/June 2021, pp. 14-28.)

https://sergiotroncoso.com/news/americanbookreview/Sergio-Troncoso-American-Book-Review.pdf

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Literal Magazine Interview with Sergio Troncoso

Sergio Troncoso's interview in Literal Magazine: Latin American Voices on Nepantla Familias:

"What stands out for me in all these works is how these writers are comfortable with uncertainty, how they embrace it, and how they find themselves in the fog of adopting the in-between. I think when you get too certain about who you are, you stop thinking, you stop looking, your curiosity starts to disappear. It’s difficult to live in uncertainty, but it’s also the most lived life."
 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Sergio Troncoso with Brad King, Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Please take a listen to my wonderful conversation with Brad King of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast from Pittsburgh, PA. I loved our easy, free-flowing talk. We connected with each other as we dove deep into my history in Ysleta, Texas on the United States-Mexico border, how I became a writer, and how my working class upbringing has informed my writing as an outsider. Thank you, Brad King.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Nepantla Familias: Bookworks in Albuquerque

The independent bookstore, Bookworks in Albuquerque, featured Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Texas A&M Press and The Wittliff Collections) at a recent online event. As editor, I moderated a panel with three contributors, Sheryl Luna, Matt Mendez, and Daniel Chacon. I hope you enjoy it.

"In his introduction to the anthology, Sergio Troncoso says he believes the feeling of nepantla is a universal one. “Anyone who has left their home and tried to find a new one in a strange place—at times welcoming and at times hostile—they should find themselves in these pages . . . And anyone who has crossed any border to create who they are . . . and suffered the consequences for it—they will find their fellow travelers, their kindred spirits, in these pages.” I think he is absolutely correct. Monoculture is a myth, and one of many fictions I hope to see dismantled in my lifetime." ---Elizabeth Gonzalez James in Ploughshares

 


https://youtu.be/n8YuE6k6AAE

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Pati Jinich on Nepantla Familias: "Super recommended!!"

At the end of May, I traveled to Ysleta (my east side neighborhood in El Paso, Texas) to visit my mother on her 86th birthday and to eat tamales and tacos with Pati Jinich (Pati's Mexican Table) at La Tapatia in Ysleta. Pati was shooting a PBS series called "La Frontera," and she invited me to talk about the border, its people, and La Tapatia, which I had suggested as our restaurant. She is such a remarkable human being, and my impression is that she cares deeply about the people and culture of the borderlands. I gave her a copy of Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Texas A&M Press and The Wittliff Collections), which I edited.

I returned to New York City, because I have deadlines and a host of responsibilities particularly with the Texas Institute of Letters. I'm the current president. So on June 12th, Pati tweets on Twitter and posts on Instagram, "Currently reading Nepantla [Familias]: a phenomenal anthology of Mexican American literature on families in between worlds by@SergioTroncoso. Super recommended!!"

I'm grateful for her support. She didn't have to do that, but she did. I find that these gestures of kindness are what I remember many years later. Thank you, Pati, for the excellent conversation and for reading Nepantla Familias. I wish you safe travels. (Apparently "La Frontera will air sometime this summer, in late July or August.)

Sergio Troncoso and Pati Jinich at La Tapatia in Ysleta, Texas.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Nepantla Familias: Texas Book Festival's April Book Club

The Texas Book Festival featured Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Wittliff Literary Series and Texas A&M University Press) for the month of April 2021. Sergio Troncoso moderated a panel with three contributors, including Francisco Cantu, Diana Lopez, and Jose Antonio Rodriguez.

"A deeply meaningful collection that navigates important nuances of identity." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review