Murguía, Alejandro 1949–
Murguía, Alejandro 1949–
PERSONAL: Born 1949. Education: San Francisco State University, B.A., M.F.A.
CAREER: Writer and professor. San Francisco State University, College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco, CA, associate professor and faculty advisor to Cipactli: Raza Studies Journal of Literature and Art. Mission Central Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA, founding member and former director; worked on Tin Tan (a Chicano literary magazine), San Francisco, CA, c. late 1970s.
AWARDS, HONORS: American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 1991, for Southern Front, and 2003, for This War Called Love: Nine Stories; The Medicine of Memory: A Mexican Clan in California was nominated for the Victor Turner Prize in ethnographic writing.
Farewell to the Coast (stories), Heirs Press (San Francisco, CA), 1980.
(Editor, with Barbara Paschke) Volcan: Poems from Central America; A Bilingual Anthology, City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 1983.
Southern Front (historical fiction), Bilingual Press (Tempe, AZ), 1990.
(Translator) Rosario Murillo, Angel in the Deluge (poetry), City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 1994.
This War Called Love: Nine Stories, City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 2002.
The Medicine of Memory: A Mexican Clan in California (memoir), University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Alejandro Murguía is a Chicano writer and professor who has published two collections of short stories, Farewell to the Coast and This War Called Love: Nine Stories, both which look at life as a Latino. In the first, many of the stories are set in the city of San Francisco, while in the second, international settings, such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, are also employed.
Many of the stories in the second collection feature characters trying to improve their lot in life, often unsuccessfully. In This War Called Love, three stories, including "Boy on a Wooden Horse" and "Of rendas," feature a character named Reymundo, his many difficulties and losses.
Murguía's memoir, The Medicine of Memory: A Mexican Clan in California, is not just his autobiography of life in California and Mexico, it is also a discussion of his family's past and his perspective on a number of events in the history of Hispanics in the United States from the 1700s onward. Gwen Gregory in the Library Journal observed that The Medicine of Memory, which was nominated for the Victor Turner Prize in ethnographic writing, features "Murguía's spirited writing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
The Medicine of Memory: A Mexican Clan in California, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2002.
Library Journal, November 15, 2002, Gwen Gregory, review of The Medicine of Memory, p. 91.
San Francisco Reader, http://www.sanfranciscoreader.com/ (October 7, 2005), Jeff Troiano, "Raising the Chicano Voice," interview with Alejandro Murguía.
San Francisco State University Web site, http://www.sfsu.edu/ (October 30, 2005), biography of Alejandro Murguía.