ALEX ESPINOZA was born in Tijuana, Mexico to parents from the state of Michoacán and raised in suburban Los Angeles. In high school and afterwards, he worked a series of retail jobs, selling everything from eggs and milk to used appliances, custom furniture, rock T-shirts, and body jewelry. 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 Nobel 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 at Salon.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 for NPR's All Things Considered. Alex was the 2009 Margaret Bridgeman Fellow in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and is an active participant in Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Workshop and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
ALEX is also deeply involved with the PUENTE PROJECT, a 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. Currently, Alex is an associate professor of English at CSU-Fresno where he teaches literature and creative writing. As always, he is at work on his next novel.