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Captain Chicano Draws a Line in the American Sand
forthcoming August 15, 2024

"Gutierrez breaks hearts with Captain Chicano and its superhero 'wearing his chones on the outside of his tights like they all do' while delivering heroism the way we most need it right this very damn minute. Here is today's reality in all its viciousness mixed with a supreme, kind, hilarious truth. Gutierrez's wry and savvy humor makes the righteous medicine of Captain Chicano's wisdom go down like whiskey—including the kick. In Captain Chicano every page reverberates so strongly with the dangerous pulse of the American Dream, it makes you think it could still be alive." —Tupelo Hassman, gods with a little g


"Captain Chicano Draws a Line in the American Sand is not only about America (as you might guess from its title), but also about writing, ethnicity, love, belief, and, as a bonus, includes a channeled Edgar Allan Poe. All this is miraculously held together by a narrator who manages to remain cheerful, amiable, disheveled, and deadly serious even as he tackles his real subject: The Human Condition. To paraphrase Gutierrez's own words: 'This vato can sling a gun' (or a sentence, or a paragraph) 'like Shane in a heartbeat.'"  —Jim Krusoe, author of The Sleep Garden


"Captain Chicano Draws a Line in the American Sand is mad, unruly magic. It'll blow your mind and change the way you view the world, one wildly inspired line at a time."  —Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Dog of the North



New Interview!

Cover to Cover: Jovelyn Richards interviews Stephen D. Gutierrez about Captain Chicano Draws a Line in the American Sand, April 16, 2024, on KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley, HERE


start at 31:30



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."

"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 amazon.com. 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 barnesandnobles.com. Read excerpts under Selected Works.

Website design by Benjamin Gutierrez