Prolific Mexican-American author and alum of the University of Houston’s Arte Público Press (APP) Rolando Hinojosa has been selected by the National Book Critics Circle to receive the prestigious Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor is bestowed annually to a person or institution—writer, publisher, critic, editor, among others—who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture.
The awards will be presented Thursday, March 13, at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York City.
Hinojosa is the author of the Klail City Death Trip Series, which examines relations between Mexican- Americans and Anglo-Americans in the fictional Rio Grande Valley town, Klail City, Texas. His novels, all published by Arte Público Press, 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).
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.”
In April, Arte Público Press will issue a first-ever bilingual volume of Hinojosa’s series-opening novel, “The Valley / Estampas del valle.”
Hinojosa 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 Book Critics Circle Awards, considered among the most prestigious in American letters, are the sole prizes bestowed by a jury of working critics and book review editors.
Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. 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, visit www.artepublicopress.com.
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.