ROLANDO HINOJOSA, the Ellen Clayton Garwood Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of the Klail City Death Trip Series of novels, which examine relations between Mexican Americans and Anglo Americans in the fictional Rio Grande Valley town of Klail City, Texas.
In 2014, the National Book Critics Circle honored Hinojosa with the respected Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the most prestigious prize in Latin American fiction, Casa de las Américas, for the best Spanish American novel in 1976. Several of his novels have been translated into German, and The New York Times Book Review has compared him to William Faulkner, saying: “Although his sharp eye and accurate ear capture a place, its people and a time in a masterly way, his work goes far beyond regionalism. He is a writer for all readers.”
Originally published in Spanish in 1973, his first novel in the Klail City series is now available in a first-ever bilingual edition titled The Valley / Estampas del valle (Arte Público Press, 2014). The second novel in the series, Klail City / Klail City y sus alrededores, was also released in a bilingual format by Arte Público Press later that year. In 2011, a collection of Hinojosa’s essays, A Voice of My Own, was published. And Hinojosa’s Partners in Crime: A Rafe Buenrostro Mystery, originally published in 1985 and foreshadowing the violence along the Texas-Mexico border, was re-issued in 2011 by Arte Público Press. Another recent novel, We Happy Few (Arte Público Press, 2006), takes the reader inside the politics of a tumultuous university campus in a quiet university town on the Texas-Mexico border. His other novels include Ask a Policeman (Arte Público Press, 1998), The Useless Servants (Arte Público Press 1993), Becky and Her Friends (Arte Público Press 1989), Dear Rafe (Arte Público Press, 1985) and Rites and Witnesses (Arte Público Press 1982).
Rolando Hinojosa has been a bridge between two cultures during his entire life, teaching in both Spanish and English departments of universities, writing his novels in both languages and establishing a prize-winning career in both the United States and Spanish America. He holds the unique distinction of being elected to the SpanishAcademy of the Language and holding a chair in Creative Writing in the English Department of the University of Texas. He has won both the highest award for the novel in Latin America, the 1976 Casa de las Américas Prize, and the National Award for Chicano Literature in the United States. The various installments of Hinojosa’s generational, continuing novel, The Klail City Death Trip Series, have become standard texts in Hispanic and American literature courses throughout the United States and have been translated into French, German, Italian, Japanese and, of course, Spanish.