Sergio Troncoso’s Crossing Borders: Personal Essays is an engrossing and revealing peek behind the curtain of one writer’s creative process, development and struggles.
The reader is treated to crisp and evocative prose that wades into the murky waters of ethnic, religious and familial identities….
In three heartbreaking interconnected essays, “Letter to my Young Sons (Parts One, Two and Three),” he begins: “Two weeks ago, Aaron and Isaac, I learned your mother Laura has breast cancer.” We are plunged into the world of surgical options, chemotherapy and physical therapy. Troncoso skillfully and in exquisite detail allows us the privilege of entering into his world as the disease affects not only his wife but also all who love her.
The fact that Troncoso’s beloved wife is Jewish imbues many of these essays with a sense of wonder and appreciation of a religion and culture vastly different from the Mexican Catholicism of his youth. In “Fresh Challah,” we learn of his newfound love for the traditional Jewish bread, which he can find in his favorite New York bakeries: “The loaves of Challah glistened under the bright white light, and seemed soft and steamy from the other side of the cash register.” Troncoso brilliantly uses challah as a springboard for an exploration of his El Paso roots as embodied by his late grandmother, Doña Dolores Rivero….
Troncoso has already made his mark in the literary world. But if Crossing Borders is any guide, he will continue to spin stories and explain the writer’s life for many years to come.