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1. The Last Tortilla & Other
2. The Nature of Truth
3. Letter to my Young Sons
4. Biography - Troncoso, Sergio (1961-):
5. T-Zero Quarterly - Jan. 2009 (Volume

1. The Last Tortilla & Other Stories
by Sergio Troncoso
Paperback: 220 Pages (1999-07-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816519617
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"She asked me if I liked them. And what could I say? They were wonderful." From the very beginning of Sergio Troncoso's celebrated story "Angie Luna," we know we are in the hands of a gifted storyteller.Born of Mexican immigrants, raised in El Paso, and now living in New York City, Troncoso has a rare knack for celebrating life. Writing in a straightforward, light-handed style reminiscent of Grace Paley and Raymond Carver, he spins charming tales that reflect his experiences in two worlds. Troncoso's El Paso is a normal town where common people who happen to be Mexican eat, sleep, fall in love, and undergo epiphanies just like everyone else. His tales are coming-of-age stories from the Mexican-American border, stories of the working class, stories of those coping with the trials of growing old in a rapidly changing society. He also explores New York with vignettes of life in the big city, capturing its loneliness and danger.Beginning with Troncoso's widely acclaimed story "Angie Luna," the tale of a feverish love affair in which a young man rediscovers his Mexican heritage and learns how much love can hurt, these stories delve into the many dimensions of the human condition. We watch boys playing a game that begins innocently but takes a dangerous turn. We see an old Anglo woman befriending her Mexican gardener because both are lonely. We witness a man terrorized in his New York apartment, taking solace in memories of lost love.Two new stories will be welcomed by Troncoso's readers. "My Life in the City" relates a transplanted Texan's yearning for companionship in New York, while "The Last Tortilla" returns to the Southwest to explore family strains after a mother's death--and the secret behind that death. Each reflects an insight about the human heart that has already established the author's work in literary circles.Troncoso sets aside the polemics about social discomfort sometimes found in contemporary Chicano writing and focuses instead on the moral and intellectual lives of his characters. The twelve stories gathered here form a richly textured tapestry that adds to our understanding of what it is to be human. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Strong Work by a Homeboy

I learned about Last Tortilla and Troncoso through the anthology Hecho en Tejas, and I feel very rewarded that I did.Though it seemed to me that Troncoso was learning on the job with this collection, a few stories I would recommend very highly.I personally loved "The Snake" and "The Abuelita".Those both just took me home!I will read the novel by this homeboy next, look forward to it.

Good for Chicanos to have a publisher out there!University of Arizona Press does this series, Camino del Sol.I will definitely support it.Here's hoping it represents what's best in the state.

5-0 out of 5 stars The snake, A rock trying to be a stone, Punching chickens
These stories, man, I can't forget them. About time somebody was writing about poor mexicanos in a way that doesn't put us down.Everybody should read this book. Even if you aren't chicano. It gets to some very basic truths about people and survival and amor.

5-0 out of 5 stars RICH, RAW STORYTELLING
"The Last Tortilla and Other Stories" is a rich, poignant, truthful look at life of the poverty of Mexican/American culture along the Texas/Mexican borders.Extremely honest, the stories come to life in a splendid array of experiences melded together by various inhabitants.The tales are sometimes humorous, often brutal, always stark and honest, direct from the soul of this grand writer.Troncoso bares all with eloquence and dignity and the stories compell the reader to their pages.My only regret is I am not more prolific in Spanish, but it did not deter my fervor for these mini-masterpieces. My personal favorite was "The Albuelita," but all held my interest and my heart.

Muy bien!!Mas, por favor, Mr. Troncoso.Pardon my Spanish, but your destined career is just starting!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fellow El Pasoan
I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Troncoso read one of his stories in person. It was a pleasure. I could close my eyes and picture the places around town. The stories are vivid and deeply appealing. They touch a chordwith many of us who grew up in the El Paso area. I can't wait to read thenovel he is working on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Provoking!
These stories haunt me for days on end.I find myself unable to let go of the ideas and imagery that they present.Very seldom do you see a modern writer who is so accessable, yet also makes you think. ... Read more

2. The Nature of Truth
by Sergio Troncoso
Hardcover: 259 Pages (2003-07-15)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$4.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810119919
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Helmut Sanchez is a young researcher in the employ of renowned Yaleprofessor Werner Hopfgartner.  By chance, Helmutdiscovers a letter written decades ago by his boss mocking guilt over theHolocaust.  Appalled, Helmut digs into the scholar's life and travels to Austria and Italy to uncover evidence of Hopfgartner's hateful past.  Meanwhile, Hopfgartner'scolleague and rival, Regina Neumann, wants to reveal the truth about Hopfgartner's sexual liaisons with vulnerable studentsbefore the professor's imminent retirement.  Neumann traps Sarah Goodman, aninsecure graduate student trying to find her place at Yale, into initiatingformal charges of sexual harassment against Hopfgartner.Soon Helmut's intellectual quest for the truth metamorphoses into a journey ofjustice and blood- one with unforeseen consequences.

Intelligent and literate, Troncoso's convention-challenging philosophical novelexplores how a man of Mexican-German heritage navigates a complex moraluniverse, and how his experience reveals the differences and links betweenrighteousness and evil in the quest for the truth.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Meaning of Right and Wrong
The Nature of Truth raises many moral questions that are crucial for the individual and for society. Teachers, professors, clergy, and everyone who wants to generate discussion about these questions in the contexts of religious and legal ethics, philosophy, psychology, social work, as well as global politics, will find this book to be an ideal starting point.
The story reveals a search for the meaning of right and wrong. Is all truth relative, depending on individual perception and experience? Or are there universal absolutes that are true for every individual, every society and culture?
In arriving at possible answers to these questions. the story takes us through a sequence of events that raises additional questions. How can a search for vengeance ever lead to justice? Is one pre-meditated murder or terrifying act (act of terror) somehow better or worse than another? Are war crimes somehow more excusable than individual crimes? Should insanity or temporary insanity be excuses for crime, or does every crime reflect mental illness? Do societies sometimes experience eras of mental illness? What can be done to prevent or atone for those times?
Are some war crimes so despicable that individuals should be allowed to avenge them even in the context of a different time and place? Doesn't all violence put all perpetrators on the same level, no matter how noble they once thought their motives to be? What is a suitable punishment for murder, and who should decide? If each individual were allowed to decide, what kind of society would result? On the other hand, when an individual shows remorse for his crime, is that enough? If we are among those who oppose prison systems and capital punishment as inhumane, what should society do alternatively in addressing criminal behavior? Are some murders o.k.? Are we comfortable with knowing that murderers who have never been convicted might be living among us? Do we excuse them once we know they are remorseful?
One of the exceptional details about the story,especially considering the fact that the author is male, involves the main female character. She invited her boyfriend on their first date, and she was the first to make sexual advances. She spent many nights with her boyfriend before either of them was sure that they loved each other. Yet she is clearly portrayed not only as a good woman, but as one of the most moral (loving) people in the book. Making love is shown as behavior that does not relate in and of itself to morality. Being honest, as well as keeping promises and commitments,are what matter. On the other hand, having sex is clearly presented as wrong when it involves exploitation, whether mutual or not.
In addition to facing readers with many important moral questions, Sergio Troncoso has also crafted a very engaging story that, especially in the scenes following the crime, becomes the kind of book that is difficult to put aside. Moreover, the characters are described in such depth that they do not seem fictitious. The dialogues and dialects of all characters are carefully and realistically presented. In addition, although the characters represent many walks of life, we may find ourselves empathizing to some extent with all of them.
Isn't this the way life should be, that we should be able to empathize with everyone's pain, at least a little? Isn't that the ultimate way to prevent and treat the sicknesses of crime, including war? If we developed more understanding, not endorsement of all behavior, but compassion for the deprivation, misery, injustice, sorrow, or whatever experiences have contributed to the unacceptable and/or criminal behavior, the world would surely be a better place. Reacting to a horrible crime with only hatred for the criminal can lead to an equally horrible crime.
If there is one truth on which we can all agree, it is that love is the universal absolute that has the potential to heal the world and promote human relationships to a more productive and harmonious level. The story also implies that those who have the most love to give may be those who have received the most through their original family lives, but it does not imply that those who have not been so lucky are hopeless or that their crimes should be excusable. However, the story may lead us to conclude that those who understand love may have a greater responsibility to share what they know of empathy and forgiveness more generously and beyond the borders of their familiar circles.

5-0 out of 5 stars A unique contribution to American Literature
I read Sergio Troncoso's novel, THE NATURE OF TRUTH, after having heard him in Dallas recently.I didn't know the author, but his reading and Q and A were impressive, and so I decided to take a chance on this author.I am glad that I did.

His novel has boldly taken not only Chicano literature, but American literature, to new territory.I thought his story, about history and philosophy, and whether and how the past should matter, was revelatory on several fronts.How we should cross borders and reach out to other communities, not only our own (I am a Chicano).How elite universities obliterate your character with the savage pursuit of the truth.How individuals, like Helmut Sanchez and Sarah Goodman (my favorite characters in this novel) are true, realistic heroes for overcoming their limitations and fears and even mistakes to reach a point of truth in their lives.

I thought the character Helmut Sanchez was particularly well-done.He is a true modern hero, complex, with dirty hands, and yet trying to do the right thing.Several scenes are just stunning in their psychological drama, and what they reveal about Helmut.I also thought Sarah Goodman, the woman from Iowa, was an excellent character for Troncoso.This writer seems to write women very well, and he should be applauded for that.

3-0 out of 5 stars German-Mexican exploration...interesting, but limited.
I'm not sure why it is that this book has captured the attention that it has.Frankly, it feels rushed with the characters emotional decisions.While curiously the plot felt slow and somewhat cliched.

It just feels like it's written by someone who may have the story telling down too clinical.Although Tronsco is certainly a capable writer, it still felt like the writer was still learning to write.The talent just didn't sparkle for me.

Troncoso looks young in the jacket photo, so I'm assuming that it's just that.Yale professors must really be embroiled in quiet polemics and too busy with mid-term exams to intensily give themselves to the art and craft.

Of course, the German/Mexican experience of the character Helmut is an interesting sidebar to the whole thing.Granted, I am Mexican/German decent myself, with a very different perspective from this book's norm, but regardless, so some things did resonate and certainly kept me reading.

However, this is no Crime and Punishment or Frankenstein.That's where real expressions anguish and morality in fiction exist and maybe that's asking too much from a new writer.But it's a good shot, and I hope to see more from this writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book with incredible questions
I am neither Latino nor Jewish, but this book has hit home with me.It is an incredible, and risky, exploration into what makes the truth, what destroys the truth, and what links the truth to evil.The moral questions in THE NATURE OF TRUTH have been with me for weeks after I read it.The book is sexy, and controversial, and opinionated, in a way most books are not.I think most books are for entertainment.This book is way beyond that, for the pursuit of questions essential to most of our lives. ... Read more

3. Letter to my Young Sons
by Sergio Troncoso
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-01)
list price: US$2.99
Asin: B003UHW1UM
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
How does a husband respond to his wife's battle against breast cancer?What choices must be made by a family when their children are young?Author Sergio Troncoso recounts the harrowing story of his wife's battle against breast cancer in 1998.Laura is thirty-six, a successful professional in New York, when she receives the devastating news of her biopsy.Aaron is three-years-old, and Isaac has not yet celebrated his first birthday.

Sergio and Laura begin the gauntlet of understanding Laura's cancer and making crucial choices that will determine her future while battling their greatest fears.Laura endures a marathon day of surgery and six months of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.What they expect and what they hope for are not what they must face.A Mexican-American from the desert and mountains of Francisco Villa and Pascual Orozco.A nice Jewish girl from the woods and fields of Emerson and Thoreau.This is the true story of how love will not be defeated even during the worst family nightmare.

Sergio Troncoso is the author of The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, which won the Premio Aztlan and the Southwest Book Award.He also wrote The Nature of Truth: A Novel, a story about a young research assistant at Yale who discovers that his boss hides a Nazi past.His stories and essays have been featured in many anthologies and literary reviews.He writes the blog, www.ChicoLingo.com, about writing, politics, and finance.

Please visit his website at www.SergioTroncoso.com. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Facing truth with Sergio
This story is about facing truth along the darkest journey that a couple can go through together: confronting illness; in this case, cancer.Sergio tells the story of his wife's cancer from the first moment they found out about it through to her recovery.It is an eye opener. This is a master writer who describes sensitivities, and emotions with stunningrealism.As Sergio brings you into his life, you will wonder what your own reactions would be if you were in his situation. His story is an exquisite example of how a man can be supportive of a woman who is faced with breast cancer, and of a man whom is as much of a parent as his wife is.His love for his wife, children and family were not always enough to take him through the darkness that at times seemed to swallow his entire family.As Sergio Troncoso takes you through his disconsolate experience he describes his ultimate return to belief, faith and God. A true story everyone should read.A story of Hope. ... Read more

4. Biography - Troncoso, Sergio (1961-): An article from: Contemporary Authors
by Gale Reference Team
Digital: 6 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007SIQ42
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document, covering the life and work of Sergio Troncoso, is an entry from Contemporary Authors, a reference volume published by Thompson Gale. The length of the entry is 1662 words. The page length listed above is based on a typical 300-word page. Although the exact content of each entry from this volume can vary, typical entries include the following information:

  • Place and date of birth and death (if deceased)
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Professional associations and honors
  • Employment
  • Writings, including books and periodicals
  • A description of the author's work
  • References to further readings about the author
... Read more

5. T-Zero Quarterly - Jan. 2009 (Volume 200901)
by R. J. Hembree, Sergio Troncoso, Kathy Kubik, Shanna Lewis, David Nourse, Carolann Neilon Malley, Shirley Eaves, Laurel Wilczek, Helen Rossiter
Paperback: 56 Pages (2009-01-12)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1441441263
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Outstanding fiction, poetry, essays and non-fiction. T-Zero was founded in 1998. Editor In Chief: RJ Hembree, Mangaging Editor: Priscilla Fagan, Poetry Editor: Carol Malley, Senior Editor: Roy Berman ... Read more

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