Rolando Hinojosa-Smith

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Rolando Hinojosa
Rolando Hinojosa at the 2014 Texas Book Festival
Rolando Hinojosa at the 2014 Texas Book Festival
OccupationNovelist, poet, professor
Notable worksKlail City Death Trip Series (15 vols.)
Notable awardsPremio Casa de las Américas; Quinto Sol

Rolando Hinojosa (born 1929) is an American novelist, essayist, poet and the Ellen Clayton Garwood professor in the English Department at the University of Texas at Austin.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Texas's Lower Rio Grande Valley in 1929, to a family with strong Mexican and American roots and grew up in Mercedes, Texas.[2] His father fought in the Mexican Revolution while his mother maintained the family north of the border. An avid reader during childhood, Hinojosa was raised speaking Spanish until junior high, where English was the primary spoken language. Like his grandmother, mother and three of his four siblings, Hinojosa became a teacher; he has held several academic posts and has also been active in administration and consulting work. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and New Mexico Highlands University. Hinojosa received a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969.[3]


Hinojosa has devoted most of his career as a writer to his Klail City Death Trip Series, which comprises 15 volumes to-date, from Estampas del Valle y otras obras (1973) to We Happy Few (2006). He has completely populated a fictional county in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas through this generational narrative. Although he prefers to write in Spanish, Hinojosa has also translated his own books and written others in English.

Hinojosa was the first Chicano author to receive the prestigious Premio Casa de las Américas award for Klail City y sus alrededores (Klail City), part of the series. He also received the third and final Premio Quinto Sol Annual Prize (1972), for his work Estampas del Valle y otras obras.[4][5]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Ask a Policeman. Houston: Arte Público. 1998.
  • Los amigos de Becky. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1991.
  • Becky and her Friends. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1990.
  • Claros varones de Belken. Tempe, AZ: Bilingual, 1986.
  • El condado de Belken: Klail City. Tempe: Bilingual, 1994.
  • "Crossing the Line: The Construction of a Poem." Milwaukee, WI: Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute-U. of Wisconsin, 1981.
  • Dear Rafe. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1985.
  • Dear Rafe/Mi querido Rafa. Houston: Arte Público Press, 2005.
  • Estampas del Valle. Tempe: Bilingual, 1994.
  • Estampas del Valle y otras obras. Berkeley: Quinto Sol, 1973.
  • Estampas del Valle y otras obras. Berkeley: Justa, 1977.
  • Generaciones, notas y brechas. San Francisco: Casa Editorial, 1978.
  • Generaciones y semblanzas. 1977. Berkeley: Justa, 1979.
  • Klail City. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1987.
  • Klail City und Umgebung. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1981.
  • Klail City y sus alrededores. La Habana: Casa de las Américas, 1976.
  • Korean Love Songs. Berkeley, CA: Justa, 1978.
    • Korea Liebes Lieder/Korean Love Songs. O.B.E.M.A., Nr. 6, Osnabrück, Germany, 1991
  • Mi querido Rafa. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1981.
  • Partners in Crime. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1985.
  • Rites and Witnesses. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1982.
  • This Migrant Earth. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 1987.
  • The Useless Servants. Houston: Arte Público, 1993.
  • The Valley. Ypsilanti, MI: Bilingual, 1983. (Hinojosa's own translation of Estampas del Valle)
  • We Happy Few. Houston: Arte Público Press, 2006.

Further reading[edit]

  • Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Rolando Hinojosa-Smith. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson (Trinity University Press, 2008).


  1. ^ "Texas Classics: 'This Writer's Sense of Place,' by Rolando Hinojosa-Smith". Dallas News. August 2014.
  2. ^ Voice of the Valley: An Interview with Rolando Hinojosa-Smith | Humanities Texas Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  3. ^ "Rolando Hinojosa-Smith". Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  4. ^ Cyrus R.K. Patell, "Emergent Ethnic Literatures: Native American, Hispanic, Asian American," A Concise Companion to Postwar American Literature and Culture, ed. Josephine G. Hendin, p.367
  5. ^ "Voice of the Valley: An Interview with Rolando Hinojosa-Smith". Humanities Texas. June 2014.
  6. ^ Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  7. ^ "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.

Other Publications[edit]

  • Glover, Joyce Lee (1997). Rolando Hinojosa and the American Dream. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press.
  • Martín-Rodríguez, Manuel M. (1993). Rolando Hinojosa y su "cronicón" chicano: Una novela del lector. Sevilla, Spain: Universidad de Sevilla.
  • Miller, Stephen and José Pablo Villalobos, eds. (2013). Rolando Hinojosa's Klail Death Trip Series: A Retrospective, New Directions. Houston: Arte Público Press.
  • Pollock, Mary Sanders. "Crime and Community in the Rafe Buenrostro Mysteries." CLUES: A Journal of Detection 24.3 (Spring 2006): 7-14.
  • Saldívar, José David, ed. (1984). The Rolando Hinojosa Reader. Houston: Arte Público Press.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Zilles, Klaus (2001). Rolando Hinojosa: A Reader’s Guide. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

External links[edit]