A native of McAllen, Texas, GENARO GONZÁLEZ is the author of two novels, Rainbow’s End and The Quixote Cult, the forthcoming A So-Called Vacation for young adults, and a collection of stories, Only Sons. A professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, González is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Dobie Paisano Writing Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.
González’s first novel, Rainbow’s End (Arte Público Press, 1988), was named Critic’s Choice of the Los Angeles Times, and looks at three generations of Mexican Americans along the Texas/Mexico border. The Los Angeles Times said: “Rainbow’s End captures the ambiente of a borderland household: a grandfather who swam across the Rio Grande in the 1930s, Vietnam vets and smugglers.”
In his second novel, The Quixote Cult (Arte Público Press, 1999), González follows a young Chicano coming of age in deep South Texas in the late 1960s. As the narrator of The Quixote Cult, known simply as De la O, begins college, he discovers a world of political activists, Vietnam veterans, small-time drug dealers and academic opportunists unlike anything he and his friends ever experienced in the barrio. Publishers Weekly said: “visceral, angry and edgy, Gonález’s … novel about a Chicano hippie activist in Southern Texas comes to us like a time capsule from the 1960s.”
His forthcoming novel for young adults, A So-Called Vacation (Arte Público Press, 2009), is about a father who persuades his unwilling family to spend the summer in California doing field work to earn extra money, with the promise of a trip to Disneyland as a reward. Unfortunately, while learning their way around town, the family experienced the racism often directed at recent immigrants. This illuminating novel sheds light on the subjects of immigrant labor and prejudice within the Hispanic community, González blends the ageless theme of fathers and sons at odds with a contemporary issue weighing on many minds.
Only Sons (Arte Público Press, 1991) is a powerful collection of stories in which González again draws on his Texas-Mexican border culture to create moving stories about father-son relationships. Multicultural Review said: “Only Sons belongs on that shelf of good books about modern family relationships …. It is highly recommended.”