The Ordinary Turned Extraordinary: Texas Tech Professor Publishes Short Story Collection

Genaro J. Perez, a professor of Hispanic literature at Texas Tech, published his first book of short stories, entitled 'French Quarter Tales.'

Written by: Gretchen Pressley

Genaro J. Perez, a professor of Hispanic literature at Texas Tech, published his first book of short stories, entitled “French Quarter Tales.”

The story collection, published by iUniverse in December 2006, features six fiction stories about characters influenced by the French Quarter in New Orleans. Each story follows a tradition called magic realism of placing extraordinary situations within familiar contexts and vice versa.

“Magic realism is making everyday things look extraordinary and unusual things look ordinary,” Perez said. “I based the magic realism style in my book on the traditions of Latin American writers such as Gabriel Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges.”

The stories each describe a character’s struggle with his identity, whether the conflict is from being born slightly deformed, from having an unusual illness, or from rejecting and then accepting a Hispanic heritage.

Perez’s descriptions of the setting are based on his own memories of the French Quarter. Perez lived in New Orleans during the late 1960s and earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Tulane University.

Perez’s previous publications include five books of literary criticism, two books of poetry, and one novel. Perez is the co-editor of “Monographic Review/Revista monográfica,” a professional journal of criticism of Hispanic literature. He was also a book review editor of “Hispania,” the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese from 1996 to 2004.

[Editor’s note: If you would like to obtain a copy of “French Quarter Tales” for review, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing.]

CONTACT: Genaro J. Perez, professor of Hispanic literature in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, (806) 742-3145 ext. 281 or genaro.perez@ttu.edu.