Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico to parents from the state of Michoacán and raised in suburban Los Angeles. After graduating from the University of California-Riverside, he went on to earn an MFA from UC Irvine’s Program in Writing. His first novel, Still Water Saints, was published by Random House in 2007 and was named a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. The book was released simultaneously in Spanish, under the title Los santos de Agua Mansa, California, translated by Lilliana Valenzuela. His second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, was published by Random House in March 2013.
Alex’s fiction has appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California’s Inland Empire, Latinos in Lotusland, Huizache, Silent Voices, and The Southern California Review. His essays have been published atSalon.com, in the New York Times Magazine, in The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity, and as part of the historic Chicano Chapbook Series. He has also reviewed books for the Los Angeles Times, the American Book Review, and NPR. Alex was the 2009 Margaret Bridgeman Fellow in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. In 2014, he was awarded a fellowship in prose by the National Endowment for the Arts and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León.
Alex is deeply involved with the Puente Project, a state-wide program designed to help first-generation community college students make a successful transition to a university. A Puente student himself, he has since served as a Puente mentor and often visits Puente classes to talk with students and teachers about writing, literature, and the opportunities he gained through education. He serves on the board of California Humanities and is at work on his next novel.
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