The Plascencia family eventually settled near Los Angeles in the city of El Monte when he was eight years old. Plascencia holds a B.A. in English from Whittier College and an MFA in fiction from Syracuse University. The recipient of a National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts Award in Fiction in 1996 and the Peter Neagoe Prize for Fiction in 2000. In 2001 he was awarded the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, its first fellow in fiction.
In its January 2010 issue, Poets and Writers named Plascencia one of the "Fifty Most Inspiring Living Authors in the World."
- Author's site
- Nashville Review interview
- McSweeney's page
- Bookslut interview
- 3:AM review
- Hobart interview
- Online interview with author on Letras Latinas Oral History Project.