Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Audio Book: Nobody's Pilgrims

Audio book of NOBODY'S PILGRIMS debuts on Audible and other services! Narrated by Johnny Rey Diaz (Queen of the South, Hawaii Five-0, Narcos, Grey's Anatomy).
"Troncoso delivers a surprisingly fast-paced, character-driven story.... A sublime, diverse cast drives this tale of looking for a safe, welcoming home."
---Kirkus Reviews
"Eloquent, bold, and terrifying."
---Elizabeth Crook, author of The Which Way Tree
"The first time I finished Sergio Troncoso's Nobody's Pilgrims, I realized that I was absent-mindedly petting the cover. His characters had somehow taken up residence in my heart. It was love at first sight. A second reading, and a rereading of some of his earlier fiction, only confirmed the power of this odyssey of Turi, Arnulfo and Molly."
---Bob Dunton, El Paso Matters
"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

Monday, August 7, 2023

El Paso Matters Book Club Meeting: Nobody's Pilgrims

What a great El Paso Matters Book Club meeting! We has 70-plus in attendance, according to the library staff, and I signed dozens of books and answered great questions about NOBODY’S PILGRIMS! Thank you, El Paso Matters, Literarity Book Shop, the staff at the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library in El Paso, Texas. I love the interactions we had and the stories we shared with each other.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Nobody's Pilgrims: "Love at First Sight."

Book review of NOBODY'S PILGRIMS in El Paso Matters, by Bob Dunton: 

The first time I finished Sergio Troncoso’s “Nobody’s Pilgrims,” I realized that I was absent-mindedly petting the cover. His characters had somehow taken up residence in my heart. It was love at first sight.

A second reading, and a rereading of some of his earlier fiction, only confirmed the power of this odyssey of Turi, Arnulfo and Molly.”

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Sergio Troncoso in New York Times

By the way, I’m mentioned in the New York Times today:

“And Sergio Troncoso is such a beloved writer of the borderlands, there is a public library branch named for him in El Paso. His 'A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son' is simply brilliant.”

Thank you, Luis Alberto Urrea!


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Q&A with El Paso Matters Book Club on Nobody's Pilgrims

Q&A with the El Paso Matters Book Club. I'll be at the Troncoso Branch Library on Saturday, July 29th, 4 PM to discuss NOBODY'S PILGRIMS and to sign books. Buy your books at Literarity Bookshop on North Mesa!

"One important theme in “Nobody’s Pilgrims” is “the border beyond the border.” How does the border and its issues travel beyond the geography of El Paso and Ysleta, and how does the border and its sensibilities reside within the characters who travel beyond the border? Another theme is about community and outsiders. The three protagonists, Turi, Molly and Arnulfo, don’t belong anywhere, not even with their families. Yet they create a community of outsiders by believing in each other, listening to each other, and sacrificing themselves for each other. A final theme is about how character is revealed when you are in difficult, even violent or dangerous situations. Character is revealed by action."


Monday, June 5, 2023

Nobody's Pilgrims is El Paso Matters Book Club's Summer Selection

Pick you your copy of Nobody's Pilgrims at Literarity Book Shop for the El Paso Matters Book Club's summer selection. My favorite independent bookstore in El Paso, Texas! I'll see you at the Troncoso Branch Library (9321 Alameda Avenue in El Paso) on Saturday, July 29, 4 PM.

"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."
---Kirkus Reviews

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Last Tortilla Selected for List of "Real America"

Thank you Susan Straight of The Los Angeles Times for selecting THE LAST TORTILLA AND OTHER STORIES for "A Map of 1001 Books of Fiction That Show the Real America."



"These stories are richly satisfying."—Publishers Weekly

"Enthusiastically recommended."—Booklist

"Troncoso really shines when he writes about El Paso and the life of Mexican Americans there. He has the gift for writing from his heart outward into his reader's heart."—Bloomsbury Review

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Nepantla Familias Wins IPPY Award

The anthology I edited, NEPANTLA FAMILIAS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MEXICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE ON FAMILIES IN BETWEEN WORLDS (Texas A&M University Press), wins the Bronze Award for Anthologies in the Independent Publisher Book Awards! I'm grateful for the awards and recognition this anthology keeps receiving.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review: "'The either/or proposition that forces you to choose between your community and, say, your country has never been true,' Troncoso writes in the introduction. 'The very skills we learn to cross borders within ourselves help us to cross borders toward others outside our community.' A deeply meaningful collection that navigates important nuances of identity."


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Nepantla Familias Wins Award for Cover Artwork

So proud that Antonio Castro H., the cover artist for the anthology I edited, NEPANTLA FAMILIAS, is one of the winners of the Da Vinci Eye from the Eric Hoffer Book Awards for "books with superior cover artwork." For many years, I have loved Antonio's cover art: he also created the covers for my books A PECULIAR KIND OF IMMIGRANT'S SON and NOBODY'S PILGRIMS. Antonio is head of graphics design program at the University of Texas at El Paso. Thank you, too, for Texas A&M University Press for believing in this unique anthology, which also received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews: "A deeply meaningful collection that navigates important nuances of identity."


Thursday, February 9, 2023

Librarians Select Nobody's Pilgrims for Top Ten List of In the Margins Book Awards

Librarians select Nobody's Pilgrims for the Top Ten List in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Social Advocacy of the IN THE MARGINS BOOK AWARDS for 2023. So grateful for librarians reaching out to readers often overlooked, underrepresented in literature.

"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, February 1, 2023

Sergio Troncoso and Willie Velasquez

I am writing a series of essays about my experiences as a Mexican American student at Harvard. I found the letter below in my papers, a recommendation from the great Willie Velasquez of the Southwest Voters Registration Education Project, whom I met at the John F. Kennedy School's Institute of Politics while I was an undergraduate. He was an IOP Fellow and probably the most inspiring person I met up to that point. His commitment to the Mexican American community, his political intelligence and savvy, and his character, all were guides for me as I became a writer who also cared about our community, how it was represented, why our voices and stories mattered, why I wanted to focus on los de abajo.

Recently, the Texas Institute of Letters made me a Fellow of the TIL, one of only eighteen fellows chosen since 1936 and the first Mexican American to be selected for this distinction. I thought about Willie's commitment and drive, and how the awards are not really what matter. What matters is what you do, and what you continue to do, because you give a damn and you are not ever satisfied. I'm proud to be a Fellow of the TIL, but I also feel that I need to get to work to keep fighting for not just the political but also the cultural empowerment of Mexicans Americans and those who are underdogs. Stay tuned. Descanse en paz, Willie Velasquez.


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Sergio Troncoso Is Named a Fellow of the Texas Institute of Letters

Here's some news that appeared on Monday, January 16, 2023, with an announcement from Diana López, President of the Texas Institute of Letters. I'm honored to be part of the TIL. I am the first Mexican American to receive this distinction.


Dear Members of TIL,

At the January 7, 2023 meeting, the Council and Past Presidents of the Texas Institute of Letters voted unanimously to name Sergio Troncoso a Fellow of the Institute. Please join us in congratulating him.

In its 86-year-old history, the TIL has appointed only seventeen previous Fellows, an honorary designation meant to distinguish TIL members for their service and contributions to the organization. Troncoso is a recent past president of the TIL (2020-2022), who previously served as vice president, secretary, contest judge and councilor of the organization. At the January meeting, Troncoso was also appointed to the newly created position of investment officer of the TIL.

We are excited to share Troncoso's contributions to the TIL. During Troncoso’s tenure as president, he helped the TIL achieve a record number of submissions for the twelve annual literary contests of the Texas Institute of Letters; increased engagement with members that resulted in a record number paying their membership dues, resulting in two years of financial surpluses; and promoted the selection of lifetime achievement awards for Benjamin Alire Sáenz and Celeste Bedford Walker, the first African American to win that award. As president, Troncoso also challenged efforts to ban books in Texas by marshalling the organization to speak out against the banning of books in public libraries. As secretary and webmaster of the TIL, Troncoso created the electronic payment system that now receives about ninety percent of member dues and donations, as well as introduced videos, photographs, and social media to the TIL website.

Sergio Troncoso is the author of eight books. His most recent publication is Nobody’s Pilgrims (2022), a novel about three teenagers in pursuit of their American Dreams who drive across the country in a stolen pickup as evil people are after the contraband hidden in the truck. Among the numerous literary awards he has won are the Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story, Premio Aztlán Literary Prize, International Latino Book Award for Best Novel-Adventure or Drama, International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Short Stories, and the Southwest Book Award. The El Paso City Council voted unanimously to rename the public library branch in Ysleta as the Sergio Troncoso Branch Library. A Fulbright scholar, Troncoso teaches at the Yale Writers’ Workshop.

As a new TIL Fellow, Sergio Troncoso joins Steve Davis, W.K. Stratton, Carolyn Osborn, and Robert Flynn as current Fellows. Previous Fellows of the Institute have included John Graves, Marshall Terry, A.C. Greene, Tom Lea, and J. Frank Dobie.

Diana López, President
Texas Institute of Letters