Justin Torres

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Justin Torres
Justin Torres at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2012
Justin Torres at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2012
Born1980 (age 39–40)
New York City
OccupationNovelist, writer
NationalityAmerican, Puerto Rican
Website
www.justin-torres.com

Justin Torres (born 1980) is an American novelist and an Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Los Angeles.[1] He won the First Novelist Award for his semi-autobiographical novel We the Animals which was also a Publishing Triangle Award finalist and a NAACP Image Award nominee. We the Animals has been adapted into a film and awarded the Next Innovator Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.[2]

Early life[edit]

Justin Torres was born to a father of Puerto Rican descent and a mother of Italian and Irish descent.[3] He was raised in Baldwinsville, New York as the youngest of three brothers.[4][5] Although his novel We the Animals is not an autobiography, Torres has claimed that the "hard facts" in the novel mirror his own life.[5] City of God by Gil Cuadros, published in 1994, reportedly helped him to come out as gay.[6] After leaving his family home, he attended New York University on scholarship but quickly dropped out. After a few years of moving around in the country and taking whatever job came, a friend invited him to sit in a writing course taught at The New School which motivated him to start writing seriously.[4][7]

Awards and honors[edit]

His first novel, We the Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011),[8] won an Indies Choice Book Awards (Adult Debut Honor Award) and was also a Publishing Triangle Award finalist and a NAACP Image Award nominee (Outstanding Literary Work, Debut Author).[9] Torres further won the 2012 First Novelist Award for We the Animals. Torres was named by Salon.com as one of the sexiest men of 2011.[10] In 2012 the National Book Foundation named him among their 5 under 35 young fiction writers.[11][12]

Career[edit]

In 2010, Torres received his master's degree from Iowa Writers' Workshop. He was a 2010-2012 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.[13] He was a recipient of the Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists.[5] In the summer of 2016, Torres was the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany.[14] He was a former dog walker and a former employee of McNally Jackson, a bookstore in Manhattan.[5] Torres is currently an Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Los Angeles.[1]

He has published short fiction for Granta, Harper's, Tin House, Glimmer Train, The Washington Post, and other publications as well as non-fiction for The Advocate and The Guardian.

A movie version of We The Animals, directed by Jeremiah Zagar, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018,[15] where it won the Next Innovator Prize.[2]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""The Way You Tell the Story": Justin Torres on Writing (Interview Series, The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress)". www.loc.gov. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  2. ^ a b "next-innovator-award-we-the-animals". www.sundance.org. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  3. ^ Chai, Barbara (2011-08-30). "Keeping It All in the Family". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  4. ^ a b "Justin Torres, author of 'We the Animals'". SFGate. 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  5. ^ a b c d "INTERVIEW: Justin Torres, author of "We the Animals"". Electric Literature. 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  6. ^ Waters, Sarah; White, Edmund; Winterson, Jeanette; Kay, Jackie; Callow, Simon; Donoghue, Emma (2017-07-01). "'At last I felt I fitted in': writers on the books that helped them come out". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  7. ^ "Justin Torres' Hard-Knock Debut Novel". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  8. ^ Salvatore, Joseph (2011-09-23). "We the Animals — By Justin Torres — Book Review". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study Harvard University Fellows: Justin Torres" Harvard.edu. Retrieved 10-07-13.
  10. ^ "Salon's Sexiest Men of 2011 | Slide Show". Salon.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  11. ^ National Book Foundation: Justin Torres interview
  12. ^ The National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Fiction, 2012
  13. ^ "Stanford Creative Writing Program". Stanford.edu. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  14. ^ American Studies Leipzig (March 7, 2016). "Next Picador Professor Justin Torres". Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  15. ^ Schoenbrun, Dan. "The 50 Most Anticipated American Films of 2017 | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2018-07-09.

External links[edit]