Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Brad King Interviews Sergio Troncoso on Nobody's Pilgrims

The Downtown Writers Jam's Brad King has a lively conversation with Sergio Troncoso about his new novel, Nobody's Pilgrims, what advice he would give his younger self, what it is like to be a writer, good advice he received from others like Professor John Womack at Harvard, meeting George W. Bush at the Texas Book Festival, and a story about his childhood when he refused to work for his father because he wanted to focus on school. And the family fight that followed.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Words on a Wire Interviews Sergio Troncoso on Nobody's Pilgrims

On KTEP's Words on a Wire, Sergio Troncoso talks about the ideas behind NOBODY'S PILGRIMS, how he inadvertently predicted the pandemic, and questions of love, belonging, and how Mexican Americans should claim their home even far away from the border.

"I want to challenge, if you want to call it, the Chicano literary imagination. I believe Chicanos should conquer not just places like Austin, not just places like Califas and Los Angeles, but places like Connecticut, places like Massachusetts, places where we are not there traditionally. So, I believe we have to expand our literary imagination and our ambition. We are deeply part of this country, as immigrants, as writers, as people challenging the norms."

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Nobody's Pilgrims Wins Best Novel- Adventure or Drama from ILBA

Last night in LA, Nobody’s Pilgrims won the Gold Medal for Best Novel- Adventure or Drama in English at the International Latino Book Awards. Thank you to Empowering Latino Futures, Las Comadres, and Reforma for this award.

Kirkus Reviews: "Troncoso delivers a surprisingly fast-paced, character-driven story.... A sublime, diverse cast drives this tale of looking for a safe, welcoming home."

Rigoberto González: "Sergio Troncoso has given us a timely dystopian tale heavy with anguish but invigorated by resilience."


Monday, August 1, 2022

Austin Liti Limits Interviews Sergio Troncoso

Scott Semegran of Austin Liti Limits interviews me about Nobody's Pilgrims, the writing craft, the connections between The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Nobody's Pilgrims, and if heaven exists what would I like to hear God say when I arrive at the check-in desk. Stay until the lighting round of questions at the end! I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Lupita Reads Nobody's Pilgrims

Thank you, Lupita Aquino at Lupita Reads, for interviewing me about Nobody's Pilgrims. One of the questions I answer: If your book was a famous musician, who would it be?

Sergio Troncoso: "Nobody's Pilgrims would be Lil Nas X, because he doesn't fit anywhere exactly, he's constantly pushing across different boundaries of music and audiences, because he doesn't give a damn and just is who he wants to be, without fitting into predetermined boxes in the music industry or the expectations of others. Lil Nas X is creating his own road as he goes, upsetting people, opening people's minds, prompting serious questions about identity and culture, all of it like Nobody's Pilgrims."

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Inklette Magazine's Conversation With Sergio Troncoso

A very in-depth interview (perhaps my most revealing in many years) with Devanshi Khetarpal of Inklette Magazine. Thank you, Devanshi, for the conversation.

“A deep freedom of consciousness,” Sergio says, “is what writing is about.” “Damn even yourself,” he says and advises writers not to fall for their own proclivities, judgements and tendencies. He wants to ask the toughest questions of himself, as much as he asks them of others around them and that’s why he loves writing. He said, “Let me be blunt. I don’t even think I know myself.” It’s a huge admission to come from a writer, and it is difficult to do what Sergio wants writers to do: to turn the lens onto our own selves as we do towards others.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Texas Monthly's Profile of Sergio Troncoso

In the August 2022 issue of Texas Monthly

"The ‘Nobody’ in the title is there because they’re outsiders,' Troncoso says. 'They don’t belong anywhere, even within their own families. They’re orphans—or are for all practical purposes.' Over the course of their drive across the country, Turi and Arnulfo are treated with suspicion and even outright hostility from complete strangers. The novel reflects Troncoso’s perspective that 'Mexicanos and undocumented immigrants are much more akin to the original Pilgrims.'

Nobody’s Pilgrims celebrates outsiders in general and immigrants in particular, an ethos that was central to Troncoso’s recent two-year tenure as president of the Texas Institute of Letters. 'I threw my heart and soul into the TIL,' he says. 'That meant representing all of Texas. We inducted more African Americans than ever before. During my tenure, we gave the Lifetime Achievement Award to Benjamin Alire Sáenz, who probably should have won it ten years ago. And this year we gave it to Celeste Bedford Walker, the first African American to ever win the award. It’s long overdue, in my opinion; she’s a great playwright. The organization truly is morphing into something beyond white guys from Dallas and Austin.'"

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

WKNY Interview of Sergio Troncoso

I loved chatting with Rita Vanacore of WKNY of Kingston, New York. What a great conversation we had about Nobody's Pilgrims, how I started as a writer, my motivations for telling stories about outsiders and the border, and the messages in my novel. Thank you, Rita, for an excellent interview!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews on Nobody's Pilgrims

"Troncoso delivers a surprisingly fast-paced, character-driven story. For example, readers watch Turi evolve from a meek 16-year-old loner to a capable young man who genuinely cares for his 'semi-friend' Arnulfo. At the same time, the road trip keeps the tightly plotted narrative moving across the country, all while villains (there are quite a few) close in. The cast also shines, including one criminal henchman harboring a tender affection for his 'hulking giant' of a partner. The author rounds out his memorable tale by touching on contemporary topical issues, like prejudices against caramel skin and undocumented immigrants. 

A sublime, diverse cast drives this tale of looking for a safe, welcoming home."

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Sergio Troncoso on Nobody's Pilgrims

Nobody's Pilgrims is my latest novel, an adventure story about three seventeen-year-old teenagers (Turi, Arnulfo, and Molly) who find each other and believe in each other, as evil pursues them across the United States. A novel that somewhat predicted the pandemic, Nobody's Pilgrims is set in a dystopian America where grit, intelligence, luck, and love are needed to survive. Here's a brief talk I did on YouTube on the main themes of Nobody's Pilgrims (Lee & Low Books). I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Diverse Voices Book Review on Nobody's Pilgrims

Thank you Hopeton Hay for interviewing me about Nobody's Pilgrims for Diverse Voices Book Review. What a great conversation we had! I loved it. These are my favorite conversations to have, with someone who loves books and digs deep into the novel and can appreciate the nuances of the characters and places I write about. So grateful!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Philadelphia's AL DÍA Interviews Sergio Troncoso

I'm on the cover AL DÍA, a bilingual magazine from Philadelphia. Thank you!

"NOBODY'S PILGRIMS was written before 20 cases of COVID-19 existed in the U.S., and in a way, the novel predicted the pandemic that was to follow. The pandemic in my novel is transmitted by touch, and I just thought about what would tear apart this country and set us against each other. My answer was a pandemic. The three teenagers, all outsiders, forge a community of three, even as many around them turn against each other. And that’s what the novel is about: how we fight to stay together, how we struggle and succeed in becoming a ‘we,’” he said.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Predicting the Pandemic in Nobody’s Pilgrims

My blog post about NOBODY'S PILGRIMS (Cinco Puntos Press: Lee & Low Books):
"Can imagination be a window into a possible future? Yes, indeed it can. I wrote my novel, Nobody’s Pilgrims, before twenty cases of COVID-19 existed in the United States. I actually turned in the final final draft of my novel to my publisher, Cinco Puntos Press, on leap day, February 29, 2020. Moreover, most of the novel had been written even earlier. And what was the novel about? Three runaway teenagers, Turi, Arnulfo, and Molly, pursued by evil people across a dystopian United States collapsing because of a pandemic."


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Somos En Escrito Interviews Sergio Troncoso

The editors of Somos En Escrito --Armando Rendon, Jenny Irizary, and Scott Duncan Fernandez--
interview Sergio Troncoso about his trajectory as a writer, Chicano literature and the morphing of its readership, changing organizations like the Texas Institute of Letters, and his new novel, Nobody's Pilgrims (Lee & Low Books: Cinco Puntos Press).

Sergio Troncoso: "The novel is about the grit and intelligence and luck of these three teenagers, Turi, Arnulfo, and Molly. They are all people who are ignored, los de abajo. They are working class, or even worse. They find each other, and they don't belong anywhere else. They belong with each other, but not with anyone else. And as things start falling apart, they have to find solutions.... The novel is about creating that togetherness within this small group that maybe we don't have or are losing in this country, how we belong together when we go through very difficult trials."



Wednesday, April 20, 2022

El Paso Matters Interviews Sergio Troncoso

"I was a poor kid growing up in Ysleta, and the El Paso Public Library was the place where I found my
sanctuary. I found the peace and quiet to concentrate my mind, and I could go and pick up books for free and read to my heart’s content. The public library was so central to my early education and to expanding what I learned in grade school and high school....

At a meeting, the El Paso City Council voted unanimously to rename the branch library in Ysleta as the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library. It was one of the proudest moments of my literary life. I had grown up within walking distance from the library. Our family had begun with an outhouse in the backyard and kerosene lamps and stoves in Ysleta. We were as poor as poor can be. But reading, focus, discipline and the Mexican immigrant values of my parents propelled me forward over many years. And I never stopped working to be a literary voice for los de abajo, the underdogs, from Ysleta and El Paso."

Monday, March 28, 2022

Unboxing of Nobody's Pilgrims, by Sergio Troncoso

My first copies of NOBODY'S PILGRIMS just arrived! I'm very excited for this new 2022 novel about
three teenagers, Turi, Molly, and Arnulfo, on the run from evil and unwittingly carrying even a greater menace in their stolen truck. The border goes beyond the border in a story about who belongs in the United States and how finding your place in this world is about finding the right person to be with you. (Lee & Low Books: Cinco Puntos Press. Publication date: May 10, 2022.)
"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 Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
"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 The Which Way Tree
"Nobody's Pilgrims offers a stark vision of a country whose social ills have sullied the path to the pursuit of happiness. Yet its intrepid protagonists Turi and Molly persevere, charting their own map and adapting, like generations of dreamers, immigrants, and adventurers before them, to the latest hurdles of our troubled world. Sergio Troncoso has given us a timely dystopian tale heavy with anguish but invigorated by resilience."
--Rigoberto González, author of Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Book Riot and Nepantla Familias

Thank you Minerva Laveaga Luna and Book Riot for featuring Nepantla Familias

"The book asks readers from any background, whether they are Mexican American or not, 'to see these writers as individuals, to see the characters they have created not as caricatures, but as complex characters. This book is a call to action to open your minds, to take the time to open your hearts, and to meet in the complex and ever-questioning middle ground of Nepantla.'"