The son of Mexican immigrants, Sergio Troncoso has a rare knack for celebrating life.  Writing in a straightforward, light-handed style reminiscent of Grace Paley and Raymond Carver, Troncoso spins passionate, thoughtful, and surprising stories that reflect his experience crossing linguistic and cultural borders.  In his widely acclaimed story "Angie Luna," the tale of a feverish love affair in which a young man from El Paso rediscovers his Mexican heritage, Troncoso explores questions of self-identity and the ephemeral quality of love.  "A Rock Trying to Be a Stone" is a story of three boys playing a dangerous game that becomes a test of character on the Mexican-American border.  "My Life in the City" focuses on a transplanted Texan's yearning for companionship in New York City.  "Remembering Possibilities" delves into the terror of a young man attacked in his apartment while he takes solace in memories of a lost love. Troncoso sets aside the polemics about social discomfort sometimes found in contemporary Chicano literature and concentrates instead on the moral and intellectual lives of his characters.  Click here for discussion questions (PDF).

You can buy The Last Tortilla and Other Stories from:
University of Arizona Press (1-800-621-2736 or 1-520-621-1441)
Amazon.com 
Barnes and Noble.com
IndieBound.org (Local independent booksellers)

Helmut Sanchez is a young researcher in the employ of renowned Yale professor Werner Hopfgartner.  By chance, Helmut discovers a letter written decades ago by his boss mocking guilt over the Holocaust.  Appalled, Helmut digs into the scholar's life and travels to Austria and Italy to uncover evidence of Hopfgartner's hateful past.  Meanwhile, Hopfgartner's colleague and rival, Regina Neumann, wants to reveal the truth about Hopfgartner's sexual liaisons with vulnerable students before the professor's imminent retirement.  Neumann traps Sarah Goodman, an insecure graduate student trying to find her place at Yale, into initiating formal charges of sexual harassment against Hopfgartner.  Soon Helmut's intellectual quest for the truth metamorphoses into a journey of justice and blood- one with unforeseen consequences.  What will Helmut do with the truth he discovers?

Intelligent and literate, Troncoso's convention-challenging philosophical novel explores how a man of Mexican-German heritage navigates a complex moral universe, and how his experience reveals the differences and links between righteousness and evil in the quest for the truth.  Click here for discussion questions (PDF).

You can buy The Nature of Truth from:
Arte Público Press (revised and updated 2014 edition) (1-800-633-2783 or 1-713-743-2998)
Amazon.com: Paperback or Kindle
Barnes and Noble.com
IndieBound.org (Local independent booksellers)

Do you want suggestions for good books on Latino literature and Latino fiction?  Take a look at Sergio Troncoso's list of novels, short story collections, poetry, books for children and young adults, and non-fiction books: Literary Latino: Latino Fiction.

In the border shantytown of Ysleta, Mexican immigrants Pilar and Cuauhtemoc Martinez strive to teach their four children to forsake the drugs and gangs of their neighborhood. The family’s hardscrabble origins are just the beginning of this sweeping new novel from Sergio Troncoso.

Spanning four decades, this is a story of a family’s struggle to become American and yet not be pulled apart by a maelstrom of cultural forces. As a young adult, daughter Julieta is disenchanted with Catholicism and converts to Islam. Youngest son Ismael, always the bookworm, is accepted to Harvard but feels out of place in the Northeast, where he meets and marries a Jewish woman.

You can buy From This Wicked Patch of Dust from:
University of Arizona Press (1-800-621-2736 or 1-520-621-1441)
Amazon.com: Paperback or Kindle
Barnes and Noble.com:
Paperback or Nook
IndieBound.org (Local independent booksellers)

“On good days I feel I am a bridge. On bad days I just feel alone,” Sergio Troncoso writes in this riveting collection of sixteen personal essays in which he seeks to connect the humanity of his Mexican family to people he meets on the East Coast, including his wife’s Jewish kin. Raised in a home steps from the Mexican border in El Paso, Texas, Troncoso crossed what seemed an even more imposing border when he left home to attend Harvard College.

Initially, “outsider status” was thrust upon him; later, he adopted it willingly, writing about the Southwest and Chicanos in an effort to communicate who he was and where he came from to those unfamiliar with his childhood world. He wrote to maintain his ties to his parents and his abuelita, and to fight against the elitism he experienced at an Ivy League school. “I was torn,” he writes, “between the people I loved at home and the ideas I devoured away from home.”

You can buy Crossing Borders: Personal Essays from:
Arte Público Press (1-800-633-2783 or 1-713-743-2998)
Amazon.com: Paperback or Kindle
Barnes and Noble.com:
Paperback or Nook
IndieBound.org (Local independent booksellers)

This backdrop is shaken to its core by the historic events of 2001 in New York City, which send shockwaves through this newly American family. Bitter conflicts erupt between siblings, and the physical and cultural spaces between them threaten to tear them apart. Will their shared history and once-shared dreams be enough to hold together a family from Ysleta, this wicked patch of dust?  Click here for discussion questions (downloadable PDF).

Troncoso writes to preserve his connections to the past, but he puts pen to paper just as much for the future. In his three-part essay entitled “Letter to My Young Sons,” he documents the terror of his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis and the ups and downs of her surgery and treatment. Other essays convey the joys and frustrations of fatherhood, his uneasy relationship with his elderly father, and the impact his wife’s Jewish heritage and religion have on his Mexican-American identity.

Crossing Borders: Personal Essays reveals a writer, father and husband who has crossed linguistic, cultural and intellectual borders to provoke debate about contemporary Mexican-American identity.  Challenging assumptions about literature, the role of writers in America, fatherhood and family, these essays bridge the chasm between the poverty of the border region and the highest echelons of success in America. Troncoso writes with the deepest faith in humanity about sacrifice, commitment and honesty.  Click here for discussion questions (PDF).

*Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews
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Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association
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Notable Book by Southwest Books of the Year
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Silver Medal for Fiction in the Nautilus Book Awards
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Finalist for Reading the West Book Award in Adult Fiction from the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association
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Shortlisted runner-up for biannual PEN/Texas Southwest Book Award for Fiction

*Best Books of 2011 by The Hispanic Reader
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Bronze Award for Essays in ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Awards
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Second Place for Best Biography in English in the International Latino Book Awards

*Premio Aztlan Literary Prize for the best book by a new Chicano writer
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Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association

La Última Tortilla: Tres Cuentos --- Spanish edition of three stories, “Angie Luna,” “The Last Tortilla,” and “Remembering Possibilities,” for the Kindle, Nook or iTunes: iBooks.

The other boys--Marcos and Francisco--toil in their father’s old apartment buildings, serving as cheap labor to fuel the family’s rise to the middle class. Over time, Francisco isolates himself in El Paso, while Marcos eventually leaves to become a teacher but then returns, struggling with a deep bitterness about his work and marriage. Through it all, Pilar clings to the idea of her family and tries to hold it together as her husband’s health begins to fail.

With a foreword by renowned novelist Rolando Hinojosa-Smith and comprised of personal essays about the impact of drug violence on life and culture along the U.S.-Mexico border, the anthology combines writings by residents of both countries. Mexican authors Liliana Blum, Lolita Bosch, and Diego Osorno write riveting, first-hand accounts about the clashes between the drug cartels and citizens' attempts to resist the criminals. American authors, including José Antonio Rodríguez and José Skinner, focus on how the corruption and bloodshed have affected the bi-national and bi-cultural existence of families and individuals. Maria Cristina Cigarroa shares her poignant memories of life in her grandparents’ home now abandoned in Nuevo Laredo.

In their introduction, editors Sarah Cortez and Sergio Troncoso write that this anthology was “born of a vision to bear witness to how this violence has shattered life on the border, to remember the past, but also to point to the possibilities of a better future.”

The Making of an Anthology: Our Lost Border

You can buy Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence from:
Arte Público Press (1-800-633-2783 or 1-713-743-2998)
Amazon.com: Paperback or Kindle
Barnes and Noble.com:
Paperback or Nook
IndieBound.org (Local independent booksellers)

To buy books signed and dedicated to you by the author, click the section: Buy Books-Signed by Author.

*Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association
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International Latino Book Award, Best Latino-focused Nonfiction Book (Spanish or Bilingual)