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Sam Quinones, Speaker

Sam Quinones

    • "The Most Original Writer on Mexico and the Border"
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Travels From

California

Sam Quinones - Behind America's Opioid Addiction

Sam Quinones - Behind America's Opioid Addiction

Sam Quinones is a journalist, author and storyteller whose two acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction about Mexico and Mexican immigration made him, according to the SF Chronicle Book Review, "the most original writer on Mexico and the border."

A reporter for 24 years, from 1994 to 2004 he lived and worked as a freelance writer in Mexico. He visited all the major immigrant-sending states, spent time with gang members and governors, taco vendors and Los Tigres del Norte. He wrote about soap operas, and he lived briefly in a drug-rehabilitation clinic in Zamora, while hanging out with a street gang. He did the same with a colony of transvestites in Mazatlan, with the merchants in the Mexico City neighborhood of Tepito, and with the relegated PRI congressmen known as the Bronx. He hung out with the promoters of Tijuana's opera scene and with the makers of plaster statues of Mickey Mouse and Spiderman in that city's Colonia Libertad.

In 1998, he received a Alicia Patterson Fellowship, and Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2008, for a career of excellence in reporting about Latin America.

His first book, True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2001) is a collection of nonfiction stories about contemporary Mexico.

His second -- Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration (UNM Press, 2007) was called "genuinely original work, what great fiction and nonfiction aspire to be, these are the stories that stop time and remind us how great reading is." (S.F. Chronicle).

Since returning to the United States, he has worked for the LA Times, writing stories about immigrants, street gangs, drug trafficking, and marijuana growers in Northern California.

  • Craving for Comfort: Behind America's Opioid Addiction
  • Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

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