About the Author
The late Arturo Islas was our most acclaimed and accomplished literary explorer of Mexican-American culture. The publication of his first novel, The Rain God, marked the arrival of a new and unique voice that could speak to both traditions.
Born in 1938 in El Paso, Texas, Islas grew up in the same desert country along the Mexican-American border that is the home of the Angel family in his novels. He earned his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from Stanford University, where he continued as a professor of English. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a University Fellow, as well as a recipient of the Lloyd W. Dinkelspeil Award for outstanding service to undergraduate educationat Stanford. One of Islas' most popular courses was a limited enrollment seminar, called "American Lives," that mixed readings in literary autobiography with students' own attempts to chronicle important aspects of their lives.
He wrote Migrant Souls, the companion novel to The Rain God, a year before he died at home in Stanford in early 1991. He was at work on a third novel.