Sergio Troncoso is the author of eight books: A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son, The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, Crossing Borders: Personal Essays, the novels The Nature of Truth and From This Wicked Patch of Dust; and as editor, Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence. Nobody's Pilgrims: A Novel and Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (editor) are forthcoming in 2021.
Among the numerous awards he has won are the Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story, Premio Aztlan Literary Prize, International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Short Stories, Southwest Book Award, Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews, and the Silver and Bronze Awards for Adult Multicultural Fiction from ForeWord Reviews. For many years, he has taught at the Yale Writers’ Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut. Troncoso's literary papers are archived at The Wittliff Collections in San Marcos, Texas.
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 has served as a judge for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and for the New Letters Literary Awards in the Essay Category.
A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son is a book of linked short stories about immigration, Mexican-American diaspora, perspectivism, and time. Luis Urrea praised it as “a world-class collection.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 New Letters, Yale Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Texas Monthly, New Guard Literary Review, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, Pembroke Magazine, and Other Voices.
Awards and Recognition
- International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Short Stories (2020)
- Silver Award for Adult Multicultural Fiction from ForeWord Reviews (2020)
- Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story (2020)
- Bronze Award for Multicultural Adult Fiction from ForeWord Reviews (2015)
- International Latino Book Award for Best Latino-focused Nonfiction Book (Bilingual) (2013)
- Southwest Book Award (2013)
- Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews (2012)
- Literary Legacy Award (2013)
- Southwest Book Award (2012)
- Texas Institute of Letters (2012)
Press and Media Mentions
- Contra Viento Journal Interview with Gabriel Dozal
- Troncoso honored with 2020 Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story
- Behind The Pages Interview with Diane Goshgarian
- Colorado Public Radio Interview with Maeve Conran
- Lone Star Literary Life Interview with Michelle Newby Lancaster
- New Letters on the Air Interview with Angela Elam
- NPR Morning Edition Interview with Steve Inskeep
- KTEP's Words on a Wire Interview with Benjamin Saenz and Daniel Chacon