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David Bowles is a Mexican-American author from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Recipient of awards from the American Library Association, Texas Institute of Letters and Texas Associated Press, he has written several titles, most significantly the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Smoking Mirror. Additionally, his work has been published in venues including Rattle, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Metamorphoses, Translation Review, the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, Huizache, Concho River Review, Eye to the Telescope, Asymptote and BorderSenses.
Get to know David...
Birthday? February 27, 1970
When did you start writing? When I was a teenager, about the age of 15.
When and what and where did you first get published? My first poetry and stories were published in Gallery, the literary magazine of the University of Texas Pan American, in 1989.
What themes do you like to write about? I tend to write about the efforts of marginalized people, particularly Mexican-Americans, to rise above harrowing circumstances through solidarity and cultural traditions (which often take the form of magic in my fantasy pieces). These efforts are sometimes successful, but are also often frustrated.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? The fantasy and magical realism of writers like Octavia Butler, Isabel Allende, Jorge Luis Borges and Haruki Murakama has always been a guiding star for me. But my recent work is more informed by the character-driven, diverse fantasy of authors like Daniel José Older, Nnedi Okorafor and Guadalupe García McCall, whose often young characters face danger and tragedy with great faith and the power of community-anchored courage.
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