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The Mexican Man in His Backyard

Stephen Gutierrez's third collection of short stories and essays, THE MEXICAN MAN IN HIS BACKYARD, was published by ROAN PRESS in January of 2014. These writings recreate the Mexican-American culture of Fresno and the working-class East LA of his youth in the 1970s, and they offer memories as both poignant and sharp, painful and funny.

Writer Alejandro Murguia says of the book, "Stephen Gutierrez captures the mood, language, and unexplainable sadness of places we all know. Sometimes essays, sometimes fiction, sometimes both: Modern and post- modern, these pieces paint a vivid picture of Fresno and LA and offer sharp portraits of Chicano poets and others, laced with irony and beauty."

"At the crossroads of lucid and lyrical, micro and macro, la palabra and the word, at the crossroads of the story and storyteller, we find Stephen Gutierrez with his thumb out. Pull over and let him in and listen. Better yet, let him drive. You want to hear what Gutierrez has to say, you want to go where Gutierrez is headed. The Mexican Man in His Backyard is your ticket to the land of memory, hope, heart, and voice." -- Tupelo Hassman, author of Girlchild

"Gutierrez reveals beauty in both benign moments and terrifying truths. These stories swagger, shimmer, shake and shout—they will make you laugh as they break your heart. In spare prose with unsparing acuity, Gutierrez’s words ripple with furious joy." -- Mariah Young, author of Masha'allah and Other Stories

You can purchase the book at Roan Press or at Read the book's opening piece "The Big Fresno Fair" and other excerpts under Selected Works.

Live from Fresno y Los

LIVE FROM FRESNO y LOS received a prestigious American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2010, and it was nominated by famed writer Rudolfo Anaya.

Regarding the book, Anaya writes, "This is one of the most compelling collections of short stories I've read in a long time. A refreshing, cinematic prose style. The action flashes back and forth as time collapses into memories of past, present and future. Gutierrez has an excellent eye for detail, and a narrative voice to match. The characters are (almost) middle-class Chicanos who realize they aren't 'the real stuff' ... He reminds us that prejudices still exist, but a positive Chicano identity is evolving to serve the people. Writers like Gutierrez make the old veteranos proud. These vatos know their roots, and they write the truth."

Read Anaya's full quote here.

"This collection ushers in a new talent to join the ranks of our finest writers, Gilb, Diaz, Rodriguez, Cisneros. If you read one book of stories this year, make it this one. Live from Fresno y Los kicks out the jams, and takes no prisoners. Enjoy, and tell a friend." -- Virgil Suarez

You may read excerpts under Selected Works.


ELEMENTS is a collection of eight stories and two essays that won the Charles H. and N. Mildred Nilon Excellence in Minority Fiction Award in 1996.

Elements: a wild ride through the barrios of East L.A.: two homeboys caught in a burglary, a Hollywood weirdo, a loner brooding on a drug deal, and a would-be writer cartwheeling across the landscape, falling down flat and getting up again in a series of stories displaying the confusion and angst, and the joys and beauties, of being Mexican American and being alive.

Noted essayist James McConkey writes of "Sad Days in Haytown, or, Better Luck Next Time, Ese, Your Hourglass is Running Dry," which is Element's Afterword, that it is "moving and honest (moving in part because it is so honest) ... remarkable in its evocation, all that it brings forth."

You may purchase Elements at the FC2 store or Read excerpts under Selected Works.

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