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News - Sergio Troncoso donates archive to The Wittliff

Photo of Sergio Troncoso
Sergio Troncoso

RELEASED January 27, 2021


Award-winning author Sergio Troncoso, a son of Mexican immigrants who is now regarded as a major American writer from the American Southwest, has donated his literary papers to the Wittliff Collections.

Born and raised in the El Paso neighborhood of Ysleta, Troncoso is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer who has published eight books. His literary awards include the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize, the Southwest Book Award, the International Latino Book Award, and many others. The City of El Paso has renamed its Ysleta branch library in his honor.

Troncoso is the current president of the Texas Institute of Letters, a literary honor society established in 1936 to recognize distinctive achievement. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and earned two graduate degrees from Yale University in international relations and philosophy. His writing often focuses on the U.S. Mexico borderlands, and his deeply philosophical insights reveal significant truths about family, religion, politics, and culture. A Fulbright scholar, Troncoso has taught fiction and nonfiction at the Yale Writers’ Workshop for many years.

“Sergio Troncoso is one of the leading lights of Texas letters,” said Wittliff Collections Director Dr. David Coleman. “His brilliant and unique voice, in both fiction and nonfiction, has brought a rigorous, authentic borderlands perspective to our national literature. We are honored to add his important archive to this collection, and for him to take his place alongside so many other literary luminaries.”

“I am thrilled that my literary papers will be archived at the Wittliff Collections,” said Sergio Troncoso. “I have enjoyed their beautiful literary collections and library, particularly when I was invited to participate in a reading in 2014 and when we’ve had meetings of the Texas Institute of Letters in their gorgeous conference room. I have sent, and will be sending, unique one-of-a-kind items on my writing career and literary work: manuscripts, photographs and videos, personal items, and correspondence. I know these materials will be carefully preserved for posterity at the Wittliff Collections, and I’m happy that everything will be in Texas. I am personally grateful to curator Steve Davis, whom I have long admired as a writer and literary leader in our state.”

Troncoso established his archive at The Wittliff with an initial gift of sixteen boxes of materials. Included are manuscript drafts for several of his books, as well as vintage photographs, early writings, and numerous publicity materials. Of special interest are issues of the Pow Wow, the high school newspaper at Ysleta High School that Troncoso edited and received statewide awards for his writing.

Troncoso’s published books include A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son, The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, Crossing Borders: Personal Essays, the novels The Nature of Truth and From This Wicked Patch of Dust; and as editor, Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence. His newest novel, Nobody’s Pilgrims, will be published in 2021. He recently partnered with The Wittliff by serving as the editor for a new book: Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds. This forthcoming title in the Wittliff Collections Literary series will be published in 2021.

The Sergio Troncoso Papers have been processed by the Wittliff archivist Susannah Broyles. A guide to the collection is available online at:

The Wittliff Collections, located on the top floor of the Albert B. Alkek Library at Texas State, was founded in 1986 by Drs. Bill and Sally Wittliff to collect, preserve and celebrate the literary and photographic arts of Texas, the Southwest, and Mexico. Among the major holdings at the Wittliff are the literary papers of Cormac McCarthy, Sandra Cisneros, Naomi Shihab Nye, and many more significant authors, musicians, filmmakers, and photographers.
For more information about The Wittliff Collections:
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