A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son
By Sergio Troncoso
Cinco Puntos Press (1-800-566-9072)
ISBN-10: 1947627333 and ISBN-13: 978-1947627338
Publication date: October 1, 2019
How does a Mexican-American, the son of poor immigrants, leave his border home and move to the heart of gringo America? How does he adapt to the worlds of wealth, elite universities, the rush and power of New York City? How does he make peace with a stern old-fashioned father who has only known hard field labor his whole life? With echoes of Dreiser’s American Tragedy and Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, Troncoso tells his luminous stories through the lens of an exile adrift in the 21st century, his characters suffering from the loss of culture and language, the loss of roots and home as they adapt to the glittering promises of new worlds which ultimately seem so empty.
*Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story from Texas Institute of Letters
*First Place for Best Collection of Short Stories (English or Bilingual) from International Latino Book Awards
*Silver Award for Multicultural Adult Fiction from Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards
*Best of Texas 2019 by Lone Star Literary Life
Join Sergio Troncoso’s Email List:
Dr. Jaime Muro
Born and raised in Chiclayo, northern Peru, Dr. Jaime Muro had an eager appetite for knowledge at an early age. In spite of an illness at the age of 3, which left him totally incapacitated, he overcame his inability to walk, speak, and eat with the help of his loving parents, a well-to-do family who made sure that Jaime would outgrow his disability. The only food he tolerated at that time was the milk of an Indian woman who had just lost her baby.
Jaime rapidly caught up with the classes he had missed and graduated from elementary and high school in no time. At 18, Jaime was interested in medicine, but he found out that the program of studies in Peru would take him 10 years. He heard that in Argentina he would graduate as a medical doctor in seven. Proud of his accomplishments, Jaime emigrated to Buenos Aires without the financial support of his parents, who said he would soon come back for the share of his inheritance. Jaime never did. A very resourceful young man, he made a living by selling books to university students.
Dr. Muro was larger than life itself. Jaime could talk to people well below his class as well as to President Kennedy with the help of a translator. He was very eloquent and comfortable in his skin. He was well versed in his native tongue, but he never learned the English language due to his inability to hear most consonants. The medication given to him in his early childhood caused some damage to his hearing.
During his studies he made lifelong friends that admired him for his extensive knowledge, his incredible memory, his good looks, loyalty, and friendliness. When he graduated as an exemplary student of medicine, Dr. Muro decided to take courses in forensic medicine and psychiatry. He soon had three diplomas: as a medical doctor, a forensic doctor, and a psychiatrist.
Dr. Muro practiced psychiatry for over 30 years in Buenos Aires until he retired. In 1979, he and his wife Gerty emigrated to the United States. It was in El Paso that Dr. Muro decided to write his memoirs with the help of his wife. The books Ode to Love and Oda al Amor can be found on Amazon. He passed away in March 2009, on his 89th birthday.
Gertrude Probst Muro
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of German parents, Gertrude Muro or Gerty started falling in love with education at an early age. Every day she sadly watched her childhood friend Christel or Cristiana, nine months older than Gertrude, walk by their home to school. Christel was her friend and playmate she would miss all morning. One day she decided to run away to the school in their neighborhood with her. Very worried, Gertrude’s mother looked high and low without coming to the realization that Gerty had found the love of her life. Although her first language was German, she loved the teachers and learning, and was soon able to understand and speak the Spanish language.
Besides German grammar, reading and writing taught by her mother, Gertrude started learning English, a language that became her favorite. Gertrude enjoyed learning languages, so she took up French and Italian, and in time became proficient in five tongues.
In high school Gertrude found that she was able to explain English grammar to her classmates, so at the age of 15, she thought she should consider teaching her primary objective for a happy future. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in a school of higher education and became a teacher of English, a language she taught for 20 years in Buenos Aires.
When Gertrude met her loving husband, both decided to emigrate to the United States, a country they enjoyed for over 30 years. Gertrude did not waste any time to further her education. When she obtained her Master’s degree, she was soon employed by El Paso Community College (EPCC), which she considered her second home. She worked fulltime and was a dedicated student until she received her doctor’s degree in 1991, at the age of 51.
Gertrude retired in 2020, after 36 years at EPCC, at the age of 80. She enjoyed every minute of her career, but she has never given up learning and discovering new things. After her husband’s passing, Gertrude self-published three books, two in English and one in Spanish: Ode to Love, The Priest’s Daughter, and Oda al Amor.
Ode to Love is Gertrude and Jaime’s biography. Dr. Jaime Muro dictated his experiences in Argentina as a student of medicine and a psychiatrist after graduation. Before his death, Jaime asked Gertrude to write a book about their lives. That was the inspiration his wife needed to put into writing their love story.
The Priest’s Daughter is about Jaime’s family in Peru many years ago. His grandmother was the daughter of a Catholic priest in Jaime’s town in the north of Peru, at the end of slavery, in a prosperous era of agriculture. She had twins, and Prudencia, one of the twins, married a Muro. Although the names of the characters are real, the events that led to different situations are based on fiction.
Julieta Páez Páez
Julieta Paez Paez was born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico. She was raised in Mexico City, where she attended the Universidad Motolinia and the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico. She graduated from the Stella Viae International School in Rome and obtained a diploma from the School of Interpreters and Translators of Rome in French.
Julieta has published two previous books, “It’s in our Genes by Granny” in 2017 and “Looking Back, Moving Forward” in 2019 as a collaboration with other authors. She has lived in the United States since 1970. A former successful realtor and civic leader, she currently devotes her time to the support of the arts, the enjoyment of many hobbies and the many blessings that a beautiful family brings.