Ron Arias

Ron Arias

Infobox Writer
name = Ron Arias

imagesize =
caption =
pseudonym =
birthname = Ronald Francis Arias
birthdate = Birth date and age|1941|11|20
birthplace = Los Angeles, California
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = novelist, journalist
nationality = USA
period =
genre = novel, memoir
subject =
movement =
notableworks = "The Road to Tamazunchale" (1975) "Moving Target" (2002)
spouse =
partner =
children =
relatives =
influences =
influenced =
awards = National Book Award (nominated)

website =
portaldisp = yes

Ron Arias (born November 20, 1941) is a senior writer and correspondent for "People magazine" and "People en Español". He is also a highly regarded Chicano writer whose novel "The Road to Tamazunchale" has been called "one of the founding texts in Contemporary Chicano/a Literature." [,com_events/Itemid,27/task,view_detail/agid,51/year,2007/month,5/day,8/ UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese] .]


Early life

Arias is a native of Los Angeles, California. His university education includes Oceanside-Carlsbad Community College, Universidad de Barcelona, UC Berkeley, Universidad de Buenos Aires (where he studied Middle English under Jose Luis Borges), and UCLA where he received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in journalism. [ CSU Dominguez Hill article on Arias] (accessed March 2008)]

Arias served in Peru as a Peace Corps volunteer, and wrote about these experiences in "Road". Another influence on his decision to become a journalist was his search to learn why his father withdrew from the family after the Korean War. He spent 40 years as a journalist, 22 of them at "People". He has also worked for Caracas Daily Journal, The New York Times, Revista Chicano/Riqueña,The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, and the Los Angeles Times. [Manuel Villar Raso and María Herrera-Sobek, [ "A Spanish Novelist's Perspective on Chicano/a Literature"] "Journal of Modern Literature" 25.1 (2001) 17-34] After retiring, Arias taught at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Literary work

Arias has been called "a post-modernist who integrates in his fiction a keen eye for actual Mexican-American experience." His work is influenced by twentieth century Latin American literature. [ [ Latino Fiction Literature Analysis Chapter 2 Part 1 ] ] Arias focuses on urban Chicano life, especially "the struggle between imagination and rationalism and the transcendent possibilities of ethnic pluralism." [ "DLB" entry] at]

His best known work is "The Road to Tamazunchale," for which there are around 20 critical studies listed at the MLA database. The novel radically breaks with the tradition of Chicano literature that focuses on learning to understand reality, constructing a Chicano version of history and bringing order to the world. Instead, Arias' protagonist is more a creator of worlds than an interpreter of them. [Luis Leal and Manuel M. Martin-Rodríguez, "Chicano Literature." "The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature" Ed. Roberto González Echevarría and Enrique Pupo-Walker. p.573.]


Arias has worked for "People" magazine since 1985 and has become known both his interviews with famous people and for his coverage of major disasters all over the world. He says that he is "the magazine’s ‘parachute journalist.’On every continent, I covered five wars, famine, earthquakes, hurricanes, all kinds of disasters in Haiti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Australia, Vietnam, Moscow, you name it." His first major disaster article was the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which he was assigned simply because he was the only staff member who speaks Spanish.

Marriage and children

Philosophical and/or political views

Published works

*"The Road to Tamazunchale", novel inspired by his time in Peru (1975)
*"Five Against the Sea", survival tale of five men who survived 142 days drifting at sea (1990?)
*"White's Rules: Saving Our Youth One Kid at a Time" (with Paul D. White), story of a Canoga Park teacher's response to killing of a student (2007?)
*"Moving Target", memoir (2002)
*a column, "More Than a Job" for the South Bay weekly "Easy Reader" on locals who love their work. But it is Arias'


*Nominated for National Book Award for "The Road to Tamazunchale"
*Top Prize, University of California, Irvine, Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for "The Road to Tamazunchale"
*First Place, Los Angeles Press Club Award for "People" magazine's coverage of the Laci Peterson murder. (2004)
*Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award, Best Biography for "Moving Target" (2003)


Notes/Further reading

*Julio A. Martínez, "Chicano Scholars and Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Directory", Scarecrow, 1979
*Cordelia Candelaria, "Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture" Greenwood, 2004
*José David Saldívar. "The Ideological and the Utopian in Tomas Rivera's "...y no se lo trago la tierra" and Ron Arias' "The Road to Tamazunchale"." "Missions in Conflict: Essays on U.S.-Mexican Relations and Chicano Culture", Ed. Dietrich Briesemeister, Renate Schmidt-von Bardeleben, Bruce-Novoa and Johannes Gutenberg; Tübingen: Narr, 1986 (203-214)
*Matt S. Meier. "Mexican American Biographies: A Historical Dictionary, 1836-1987" Greenwood, 1988.
*Bruce-Novoa, Juan; "Interview with Ron Arias" "Journal of Ethnic Studies", 1976 Winter; 3 (4): 69-73.
*Martinez, Eliud; "Ron Arias' "The Road to Tamazunchale": Novel of the New Reality" "Latin American Literary Review", 1977; 10: 51-63.
*Lewis, Marvin A.; "On the Road to Tamazunchale" "Revista Chicano-Riquena", 1978; 5 (4): 49-52.
*Lattin, Vernon E.; "The 'Creation of Death' in Ron Arias' "The Road to Tamazunchale" "Revista Chicano-Riquena", 1982; 10 (3): 53-61.
*Gingerich, Willard. "Aspects of Prose Style in Three Chicano Novels: "Pocho", "Bless Me, Ultima", and "The Road to Tamazunchale" pp. 206-228 IN: Ornstein-Galicia, Jacob (ed.); Metcalf, Allan (bibliog.); "Form and Function in Chicano English". Rowley, MA: Newbury House; 1984.
*Nieto, Eva Margarita. "The Dialectics of Textual Interpolation in Ron Arias' "The Road to Tamazunchale" pp. 239-246 IN: Lattin, Vernon E. (ed.); "Contemporary Chicano Fiction: A Critical Survey". Binghamton, NY: Bilingual; 1986.
*Candelaria, Cordelia. "Ron Arias (30 November 1941 - )" pp. 37-44 IN: Lomelí, Francisco A. (ed. and preface); Shirley, Carl R. (ed. and preface); Leal, Luis (foreword); "Chicano Writers: First Series". Detroit, MI: Gale; 1989.
*Lerat, Christian. "Apothéose et métamorphose dans "The Road to Tamazunchale" de Ron Arias" pp. 81-108 IN: Grandjeat, Yves-Charles (ed.); "Ecritures hispaniques aux Etats-Unis: Mémoire et mutations". Aix-en-Provence: Université de Provence; 1990.
*Lerat, Christian. "Ultime va-et-vient entre l'ici et l'ailleurs dans "The Road to Tamazunchale" pp. 189-202 IN: Béranger, Jean (ed.); "L'Ici et l'ailleurs: Multilinguisme et multiculturalisme en Amérique du Nord". Bordeaux: Presses de l'Université de Bordeaux; 1991.
*Fabre, Geneviève; "Leave-Taking and Retrieving in "The Road to Tamazunchale" and "The Ultraviolet Sky" "The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe", 1991 May-Dec; 16 (2-3): 171-79.
*Herrera, Andrea O'Reilly; "Ron Arias' "The Road to Tamazunchale" and the Idea of Death" "The Americas Review: A Review of Hispanic Literature and Art of the USA", 1994 Fall-Winter; 22 (3-4): 114-24.
*Lee, A. Robert. "Chicanismo as Memory: The Fictions of Rudolfo Anaya, Nash Candelaria, Sandra Cisneros, and Ron Arias" pp. 320-39 IN: Singh, Amritjit (ed.); Skerrett, Joseph T., Jr. (ed.); Hogan, Robert E.; "Memory and Cultural Politics: New Approaches to American Ethnic Literatures". Boston: Northeastern UP; 1996.
*Martín-Rodríguez, Manuel M. "Border Crisscrossing: The (Long and Winding) Road to Tamazunchale". pp. 181-206 IN: Hawley, John C. (ed. and introd.); "Cross-Addressing: Resistance Literature and Cultural Borders". Albany, NY: State U of New York P; 1996.
*"Marvelous Re-creations: Utopian Spatial Critique in "The Road to Tamazunchale" By: Villa, Raúl Homero; "Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies", 1998 Spring; 23 (1): 77-94.
*Camacho-Gingerich, Alina; "Tres escritores hispanos en EE.UU.: R. Arenas, R. Arias, R. Quesada" "Cuadernos de Aldeeu", 2000; 16 (1): 177-82.
*Childers, William. "Chicanoizing Don Quixote: For Luis Andrés Murillo" "Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies", 2002 Fall; 27 (2): 87-117.

ee also

*List of Mexican American writers
*Latin American literature

External links

* [ CSU Dominguez Hill article on Arias] (accessed March 2008)
* [ Peace Corps Online] (accessed March 2008)
* [,com_events/Itemid,27/task,view_detail/agid,51/year,2007/month,5/day,8/ UCLA bio] (accessed March 2008)

NAME=Ron Arias
SHORT DESCRIPTION=novelist, journalist
DATE OF BIRTH=20 November 1941

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