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
 

 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Rumpus Interview: Nepantla and Radical Empathy with Sergio Troncoso

“For me, nepantla is about radical empathy.... [R]eading is about that, how when you read, you’re entering somebody’s world, fictionalized or not and that person should open up your mind to some new possibility of existence, to some new way of looking at the world.”


https://therumpus.net/2021/04/the-rumpus-interview-with-sergio-troncoso/

Monday, April 19, 2021

Op-Ed Essay in Houston Chronicle on Nepantla Familias

 On Sunday, April 18, the Houston Chronicle published my Op-Ed essay, which is basically the introduction of the anthology I edited, Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (The Wittliff Literary Series and Texas A&M University Press). I adapted the intro to be a standalone essay for the Chronicle.

"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 the work of Mexican American writers exploring nepantla. Anyone who has felt stymied by ancestors and their demands, yet also emboldened by their sacrifices and forgotten values — they should find themselves. Anyone who has forged a self from pieces of many worlds, to fit and not fit in a new home, who has balanced on many beams to understand different sides — yes, they should find themselves. Anyone who has loved another from a different world — they should recognize a version of themselves. And anyone who has crossed any border to create who they are, rather than to take who they are for granted, rather than to assume a place belongs to them — and suffered the consequences for it — they will find their fellow travelers, their kindred spirits."

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Essay-Living-between-worlds-Mexican-American-16108886.php 

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Words on a Wire Interviews Sergio Troncoso on Nepantla Familias

On KTEP's Words on a Wire, Daniel Chacon interviews Sergio Troncoso about Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (The Wittliff Literary Series and Texas A&M University Press, 2021). Troncoso talks about editing the anthology and exploring the complexity of Nepantla through essays, poetry, and short stories.
 

 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Nepantla Familias: Video Interview with Sergio Troncoso

The Wittliff's literary curator, Steve Davis talks to author Sergio Troncoso about his new book, Nepantla Familias (Texas A&M Press and The Wittliff Collections), an anthology of Mexican American authors writing on the topic of families living in between cultures and how their experiences can help us all have more empathy for one another.

Sergio Troncoso, David Dorado Romo, Reyna Grande, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Francisco Cantú, Rigoberto González, Alex Espinoza, Domingo Martinez, Oscar Cásares, Lorraine M. López, David Dominguez, Stephanie Li, Sheryl Luna, José Antonio Rodríguez, Deborah Paredez, Octavio Quintanilla, Sandra Cisneros, Diana Marie Delgado, Diana López, Severo Perez, Octavio Solis, ire'ne lara silva, Rubén Degollado, Helena María Viramontes, Daniel Chacón, Matt Mendez.

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAJ2ytvbZs

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Nepantla Familias Receives Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews

The anthology I edited, Nepantla Familias (Texas A&M Press and The Wittliff Collections), receives a Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews!

"A deeply meaningful collection that navigates important nuances of identity."
 
Thank you to all the contributors: David Dorado Romo, Reyna Grande, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Francisco Cantu, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Alex Espinoza, Domingo Martinez, Oscar Casares, Lorraine Lopez, David Dominguez, Stephanie Li, Sheryl Luna, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Deborah Paredez, Octavio Quintanilla, Sandra Cisneros, Diana Marie Delgado, Diana Lopez, Severo Perez, Octavio Solis, ire'ne lara silva, Ruben Degollado, Helena Maria Viramontes, Daniel Chacon, and Matt Mendez.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Nobody's Pilgrims, by Sergio Troncoso, forthcoming August 2021

Nobody's Pilgrims (Cinco Puntos Press), my new novel, is forthcoming in 2022. This is the wonderful cover by Antonio Castro:

"The castoffs and castaways of Nobody's Pilgrims hit the road in search of the American Dream, a long shot made longer by the pack of human devils hot on their trail. In this superb novel, Sergio Troncoso gives us a fresh take not only on the great American road trip, but on the American Dream itself in all its glorious and increasingly fragile promise. The propulsive force of this novel, and the destination it ultimately brings us to, left me wanting more, and yet feeling completely satisfied. As only the best novels do."
---Ben Fountain, PEN/Hemingway award-winning author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara

"In a world marked by cruelty, corruption, bigotry and disease, Troncoso shows us there's still room for love. With his finely honed prose style, he takes us on a journey across the country with three young hungry teens whose dreams are the only lifelines they have left. A powerful, compelling read."
---Octavio Solis, author of Retablos: Stories From a Life Lived Along the Border

"Eloquent, bold and terrifying, Nobody's Pilgrims is a fresh new take on the ancient themes of innocence pursued by evil, and of the young finding their way through a chaotic and uncertain world. Turi, Arnulfo and Molly are original and uniquely endearing, and they're a pleasure to travel with, even on such a frightening journey."
---Elizabeth Crook, author of Monday, Monday


 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sergio Troncoso Donates Archive to The Wittliff Collections

“Sergio Troncoso is one of the leading lights of Texas letters,” said Wittliff Collections Director Dr. David Coleman. “His brilliant and unique voice, in both fiction and nonfiction, has brought a rigorous, authentic borderlands perspective to our national literature. We are honored to add his important archive to this collection, and for him to take his place alongside so many other literary luminaries.”

https://www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu/about/news/Dec-2020-Sergio-Troncoso-donaes-archive-to-The-Wittliff.html

Monday, January 4, 2021

Sergio Troncoso: A Writer's Unprecedented Journey

Sergio Troncoso answers questions sent to him by Christina Chiu for a series on a writer's journey and craft: Personal Journey, Writer's Process, Guidance and Inspiration, Craft Sustainability, Three Words of Advice.

 • Personal Journey When did you start writing? When did you realize/consider yourself a writer? What have been struggles? How did you overcome them? What has motivated you?

 • Writer’s Process What is your process? Are you a 9-5er? A middle of the night-writer? A “spurt" writer? Is there anything you do that you find particularly helpful? Do you have a lucky trinket or habit?

 • Support Guidance and Inspiration Do you ever get discouraged? How do you handle it? Do you have a support group? Writer group? Community group? Where do you draw inspiration? Do you get writer’s block? How do you get over it? How do you handle interference—a new situation that makes it difficult to write/work? 

• Craft Sustainability How do you sustain being a writer? What are some pitfalls to look out for? Any recommendations as to how to make it for the long haul? How do you fill the well?

 • Three words of added advice What are they and why? Anecdote? (also, do you live by them?)


 https://youtu.be/lxgPX55y4O4