Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another Fresno MFA Hire!

I'm very pleased with a bit of news I just got from Cal State. They've made a second fiction hire, this time snagging Alex Espinoza. Alex is the author of the novel Still Water Saints: A Novel, just out from Random House. It has been named a "Discover Great New Writers" selection at Barnes and Noble Booksellers. He also wrote Jesus Stole My Bike (The Chicano Chapbook Series), as well as a number of short stories and essays in journals and anthologies. His second novel (about a Mexican actor in the Golden Age of Hollywood), is also under contract at Random House. He received his MFA from UC Irvine in 2004.

The LA Daily News did a nice profile, and Booklist had this to say about Still Water Saints...

Espinoza vividly brings a small Southern California town to vibrant life in his magical debut centering on Perla, the proprietor of the town's botanica, and the customers who come to her for help. Armed with statues of Buddha and Vishnu, Kachinas, Santos, candles and soaps, herbs and teas, Perla has a cure for everything from diaper rash to kidney stones. Espinoza sends an intriguing melange of townsfolk to her door, including Rosa, an overweight cashier, and Juan, who has been "quiet and sulky" with his girlfriend ever since his father's death, and whose mother grieves not for him but for Elvis. But 15-year-old Rodrigo is Perla's biggest worry. While in Tijuana, he was coerced into joining a group of young males abused by pedophiles, and now, after escaping, he fears for his life. Espinoza is a refreshing new writer.

And I get to work with him! I'm very happy about this, and I think it makes the MFA program at Cal State Fresno that much stronger, that much more a publishing power, that much more culturally diverse.



Anonymous California State University Fresno said...

We have a few college students online from college of California State University Fresno and we love your blog postings,
so well add your rss or news feed for them, Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanks Jen ,
Blog Manager,California State University Fresno

11:50 AM  

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