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.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Pan Dulce Podcast with Jessica Powers and Octavio Solis

Cinco Puntos Press's Editorial and Foreign Rights Director Jessica Powers moderates a chat with Sergio Troncoso (author of A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son) and Octavio Solis (author of Retablos). The authors talk about their books, growing up in the Lower Valley area of El Paso, and what their Mexican American and fronterizo identities have meant for them as adults.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Deborah Kalb Interview

Deborah Kalb interviews me about A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son, writing, and El Paso:

"The recent August massacre began with stereotypes and prejudices of who the people in El Paso were. These stereotypes missed the real El Paso, the values of hard work and dedication to family, and the peaceful humility of the largely working-class, immigrant community of El Paso.

"But to break these stereotypes people--especially the white population that has never been to the border--must read about and engage with El Paso (and other immigrant communities) and experience for themselves the pride El Pasoans feel about being hard-working Americans"

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Texas Observer: A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

From the Texas Observer on A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son:

"From the start, this book takes place not so much at the border of things as on their edge: the contact zones of life and death, past and present, here and there, old and young. In the characters’ minds, we find ourselves on one side of a divide, perpetually looking back or across. With Troncoso, that endeavor is often as dark as it is funny. The El Paso author’s newest collection depicts contemporary Mexican American life with a characteristic blend of sorrow and humor. It’s his most powerful work yet, and an essential addition to the Latinx canon."

I am so grateful to the Texas Observer and Daniel Peña.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Colorado Public Radio: A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

Maeve Conran interviews me about A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son on Colorado Public Radio's KGNU. I discuss how reading expands your empathy when you read stories outside your community. I also emphasize why this matters after so much anti-immigrant rhetoric is dividing our country and its many communities.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Words on a Wire: A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

I was recently interviewed by Daniel Chacon for KTEP's Words on a Wire. I talk about A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son and the 'map' of the table of contents of the thirteen stories, in which characters appear and reappear within groups to give a different perspective and refracted vision on these characters. I also talk about how I created a whole from these stories, by comparing the book to an album of music with a certain vision and message. I discuss the most important purpose of writing, especially during moments like the Wal-Mart massacre in El Paso, when all writers must counteract the stereotypes outsiders have about our border communities. Empathy should be at the root of our work as writers.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Literarity Book Shop in El Paso

I was interviewed Robert Holguin of KFOX14 at Literarity Book Shop in El Paso. Thank you, Robert. What a wonderful experience at this independent bookstore, my inaugural reading for A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son.

“Anybody traveling, crossing these borders, going beyond El Paso and coming back, has to deal with these kinds of questions of where do I belong, how do I belong, what part of El Paso values do I take with me and how do I adapt those values when I’m in a place that’s very foreign or very different from El Paso like Boston or Harvard or Yale," said Troncoso. "And so I think that’s why the book is valid and why the book should matter to people.”

“We need to be helping independent bookstores," Troncoso said. "Independent voices all over this country and independent publishers like Cinco Puntos Press and so Literarity is part of that.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Journal of Alta Californa on A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

From The Journal of Alta California on A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son:

"Chicano literature began with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, when a sizable Latino population was separated from its land and heritage. Sergio Troncoso has written brilliantly of this disruption and its pull. In his new book of stories, he is sharp in 'Rosary on the Border,' where a New Yorker returns to the El Paso–area village of Ysleta for his father’s funeral, and 'New Englander,' in which an intellectual Chicano must fight a redneck"