Charles Bowden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Charles Bowden (disambiguation).
Chuck Bowden
Charles Bowden.png
Born (1945-07-20)July 20, 1945
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
Died August 30, 2014(2014-08-30) (aged 69)
Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.
Occupation Writer, journalist
Awards Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction

Charles Clyde Bowden (July 20, 1945 – August 30, 2014) was an American non-fiction author, journalist and essayist based in Las Cruces, New Mexico.[1]

He attended the University of Arizona and then the University of Wisconsin, where he obtained his master's degree in American intellectual history; while there he walked out as he was defending his dissertation for his doctorate, annoyed by the questions asked him by the review committee.[2] He was a writer for the Tucson Citizen and often wrote about the American Southwest. He was a contributing editor of GQ and Mother Jones magazine,[3] and wrote for other periodicals including Harper's Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, Esquire , High Country News, and Aperture.

Bowden was the winner of the 1996 Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction,[4] and a 2010 award from United States Artists.[5][6] He grew up in Chicago but lived most of his life in Tucson, Arizona.[7] He was known for his writings on the situation at the US-Mexico border and wrote often about the effects of the War on Drugs on the lives of the people in that region.[2]

He died in Las Cruces, New Mexico on August 30, 2014 after a brief illness. He was survived by his son and two siblings.[2]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Impact of Energy Development on Water Resources in Arid Lands: Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography (Tucson: University of Arizona, Office of Arid Lands Studies, 1975)
  • Killing the Hidden Waters (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977)
  • Street Signs Chicago: Neighborhood and Other Illusions of Big City Life / by Charles Bowden and Lew Kreinberg; photographs by Richard Younker; foreword by William Appleman Williams (Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press, 1981)
  • Blue Desert (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986)
  • Frog Mountain Blues photographs by Jack W. Dykinga. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1987)
  • Trust Me: Charles Keating and the Missing Billions (1988) with Michael Binstein
  • Mezcal (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988)
  • Red Line (New York: Norton, 1989)
  • Desierto: Memories of the Future (1991)
  • The Sonoran Desert / photographs by Jack W. Dykinga; text by Charles Bowden. (New York: H. N. Abrams, 1992)
  • The Secret Forest / text by Charles Bowden; photographs by Jack W. Dykinga; introduction by Paul S. Martin (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1993)
  • Seasons of the Coyote: the Legend and Lore of an American Icon / essays by Charles Bowden et al. (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins West, 1994)
  • Frog Mountain Blues ; photographs by Jack W. Dykinga; with a new afterword by the author (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994)
  • Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America (1995)
  • Chihuahua: Pictures From the Edge / photographs by Virgil Hancock; essay by Charles Bowden (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996)
  • Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau / photographs by Jack W. Dykinga; text by Charles Bowden (New York: Abrams, 1996)
  • The Sierra Pinacate / Julian D. Hayden; photographs by Jack Dykinga; with essays by Charles Bowden & Bernard L. Fontana (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998)
  • Juárez: The Laboratory of our Future, preface by Noam Chomsky; afterword by Eduardo Galeano (1998)
  • Torch Song (essay) 1999
  • Paul Dickerson, 1961-1997 (essay by Charles Bowden; New York: American Fine Art Co., 2000)
  • Eugene Richards (New York, NY: Phaidon, 2001)
  • Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family (2002)
  • Blues for Cannibals (2002)
  • Killing the Hidden Waters [with a new introduction by the author] (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003)
  • A Shadow in the City : Confessions of an Undercover Drug Warrior (2005)
  • Inferno (photographs by Michael P. Berman; Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2006)(winner of the Border Regional Library Association's Southwest Book Award)
  • Exodus/Éxodo (text by Charles Bowden, photographs by Julián Cardona) (2008)
  • Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb by Nick Schou; preface by Charles Bowden (2006)
  • Some of the Dead are Still Breathing: Living in the Future (2009)
  • Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields (2010)
  • Dreamland: The Way Out of Juarez (2010); with illustrations by Alice Leora Briggs
  • El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin (2011) by Molly Molloy (Editor), Charles Bowden (Editor)
  • Dead When I Got Here: Asylum from the madness (2014); Executive Producer of Documentary in collaboration with Director/Producer Mark Aitken -


  1. ^ Diaz, Alex. "Charles Bowden - Lannan Foundation". Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  2. ^ a b c Yardley, William (2014-09-03). "Charles Bowden, Author With Unblinking Eye on Southwest, Dies at 69". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  3. ^ "Charles Bowden". motherjones. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  4. ^ Diaz, Alex. "Charles Bowden - Lannan Foundation". Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  5. ^ United States Artists Official Website Archived November 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Charles Bowden dies at 69; author known for writing on border issues". Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  7. ^ Grant, Richard. "A Sense of Chuck". Aeon (digital magazine). Retrieved 6 April 2015. 

Archival sources[edit]

  • The Charles Bowden Papers 1947-2007 (50 linear feet) are housed at the Wittliff Collections, Texas State University in San Marcos.

External links[edit]