Sergio Troncoso is the author of The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, Crossing Borders: Personal Essays, and the novels The Nature of Truth and From This Wicked Patch of Dust. He co-edited Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence. Among the numerous awards he has won are the Premio Aztlan Literary Prize, Southwest Book Award, Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews, International Latino Book Award, and Bronze Award for Multicultural Fiction from ForeWord Reviews. He has taught writing workshops at the Yale Writers’ Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut and the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York.
The son of Mexican immigrants, Troncoso was born in El Paso, Texas and now lives in New York City. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received two graduate degrees in international relations and philosophy at Yale University. He won a Fulbright scholarship to Mexico, where he studied economics, politics, and literature. He was inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Alumni Hall of Fame and the Texas Institute of Letters. He also received the Literary Legacy Award from the El Paso Community College. The El Paso City Council voted unanimously to rename the Ysleta public library branch in honor of Sergio Troncoso. He served as one of three national judges for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and as 2017 Final Judge in the Essay Category for the New Letters Literary Awards.
Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence is a collection of essays on how the bi-national and bi-cultural existence along the United States-Mexico border has been disrupted by recent drug violence. Publishers Weekly called it an “eye-opening collection of essays.”
From This Wicked Patch of Dust is a story about the Martinez family from rural Ysleta in El Paso, Texas who struggles to stay together despite cultural clashes, different religions, and politics after September 11, 2001. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews said the novel was “an engaging literary achievement,” and chose it as one of the best books of the year.
Crossing Borders: Personal Essays is a collection of essays about how Troncoso made the leap from growing up poor along the border to the Ivy League, his wife's battle against breast cancer, his struggles as a writer in New York and Texas, fatherhood, and interfaith marriage. The Portland Book Review said the book was “Heart-wrenching.”
The Nature of Truth is a philosophical thriller about a Yale research student who discovers that his boss, a renowned professor, hides a Nazi past. Rigoberto Gonzalez for The El Paso Times: “Sergio Troncoso’s The Nature of Truth single-handedly redefines the Chicano novel and the literary thriller.”
Booklist hailed Troncoso’s first book, The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, with “Enthusiastically recommended,” and Publishers Weekly said, “These stories are richly satisfying.”
Troncoso’s stories and essays have been featured in many anthologies, including We Wear the Mask: Fifteen True Stories of Passing in America, Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, New Border Voices, Nuestra Aparente Rendición, Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing, and Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas-Mexican Literature. His work has also appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Texas Monthly, Dallas Morning News, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, The El Paso Times, Front Porch Journal, Literal Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, and Other Voices.
Awards and Recognition
- Premio Aztlan Literary Prize
- Southwest Book Award (2000)
- Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews
- Southwest Book Award (2012)
- International Latino Book Award
- Southwest Book Award (2013)
- Bronze Award for Multicultural Fiction from ForeWord Reviews
Press and Media Mentions
- Latin Post: Author Sergio Troncoso Shares Incredible Truths About the Border and Storytelling
- New Letters on the Air Interview with Angela Elam
- NPR Morning Edition Interview with Steve Inskeep
- Kansas City's KCUR Interview with Steve Kraske
- KTEP's Words on a Wire Interview with Benjamin Saenz and Daniel Chacon
- NPR On Point Interview with Tom Ashbrook: Texas Literature