Rolando Hinojosa Receives Recognition for Life’s Work

Hinojosa, Rolando color 3 09-2010 CROPPED

Houston, TX January 2014— Prolific Mexican-American author Rolando Hinojosa has been selected by the National Book Critics Circle as the recipient of the prestigious Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Named after the first president of the NBCC, the award is given annually to a person or institution—a writer, publisher, critic, or editor, among others—who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture.

The National Book Critics Circle Awards, considered among the most respected in American letters, are the sole prizes bestowed by a jury of working critics and book-review editors. The awards will be presented on Thursday, March 13, at 6 pm at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium (66 W 12th Street, New York, NY 10011), and a finalists’ reading will be held on March 12, also at 6 pm at the same location. Both events are free and open to the public.

Rolando Hinojosa is the author of the Klail City Death Trip Series of novels, which examines relations between Mexican Americans and Anglo Americans in the fictional Rio Grande Valley town of Klail City, Texas. 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. His novels include Partners in Crime (2011, 1985), We Happy Few (2006),  Ask a Policeman (1998), The Useless Servants (1993), Becky and Her Friends (1989), Dear Rafe / Mi querido Rafa (2005, 1985), Klail City (1987), and Rites and Witnesses (1982), all published by Arte Público Press. On April 30, 2014, Arte Público Press will issue the series’ opening novel in a first-ever bilingual volume: The Valley / Estampas del valle. Several of his novels have been translated into German, and The New York Times Book Review compared his work 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.” He is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin where he has taught for nearly three decades.

The National Books Critics Circle was founded in 1974 at the Algonquin Hotel by a group of the most influential critics of the day. Comprising nearly 600 working critics and book-review editors throughout the country, the NBCC annually bestows its awards in six categories, honoring the best books published in the past year in the United States. The finalists for the NBCC awards are nominated, evaluated, and selected by the 24-member board of directors, which consists of critics and editors from some of the country’s leading print and online publications, as well as critics whose works appear in these publications.

Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors.  Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.  For more information, please visit our website at