Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Ernesto Quiñonez

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Occupation  Novelist, professor
Name  Ernesto Quinonez
Role  Novelist

Ernesto Quinonez An Oasis in Longwood Uptown Chronicle
Nationality  Ecuadorian, Puerto Rican, American
Genre  Fiction, non-fiction, journalism
Notable works  Bodega Dreams (2000) Chango’s Fire (2004)
Education  City University of New York
Books  Bodega dreams, Chango\'s fire

Ernesto qui onez fiction writer

Ernesto Quiñonez (born 1969) is an American novelist. His work received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers designation, the Borders Bookstore Original New Voice selection, and was declared a "Notable Book of the Year" by The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Quiñonez is an associate professor at Cornell University.


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Quiñonez’s first novel, Bodega Dreams, was published in 2000. The New York Times declared it "a New Immigrant Classic" and “a stark evocation of life in the projects of El Barrio...the story he tells has energy and nerve.” Time MAGAZINE announced that "Quiñonez knows this 'hood--readers may have to remind themselves that this is a work of fiction and not a memoir. His prose, detailed and passionate, brings the tale to life." The novel was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers title, as well as a Borders Bookstore Original New Voice selection. It was also named a Notable book by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Ernesto Quiñonez The Moth Presents Ernesto Quionez Spanish Harlem 7th Grade YouTube

In Quiñonez’s second novel, Chango’s Fire, published in 2004, the protagonist, Julio Santana, is an intelligent high-school dropout who moonlights as an arsonist. The Washington Post declared that Chango’s Fire "succeeds in its rich characterizations of the people of the barrio, led by Julio, whose complexity and sensitivity carry the story." The El Paso Times praised Quiñonez's "extraordinary ability to detail, and nurture, and then unveil complex emotions in his characters. For any reader who wants to believe in a difficult protagonist, and appreciate the reality of El Barrio beyond facile stereotypes, this book is essential." Kirkus Reviews criticized the characters and situations in Chango's Fire for lack of believably but hailed "Quiñonez's ingeniously detailed revelations of how people cheat and improvise, to survive in an impoverished and dangerous racist environment. This is an author who knows his material." Booklist heralded it as a "searing portrait of a community at the tipping point...Quiñonez ably illuminates the sordid politics of gentrification and the unexpected places new immigrants turn to for social and spiritual support."

Quiñonez is a Sundance Writers Lab fellow and last appeared in the "Blackout" episode of PBS American Experience.

Scholarly engagement

Scholars continue to analyze Ernesto Quiñonez’s novels and their overarching themes of economic, cultural and political power.

  • Because Place Still Matters: Mapping Puertorriqueñidad in Bodega Dreams, Irizarry, Ylcy, CENTRO Journal, Spring 2015, Vol. 27, Issue 1.
  • Spaces and Flows In the Puerto Rican Barrio: Latero Stories, Bodega Dreams, Benito, Jesus, Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos, no 18 (2014) Seville, Spain. ISSN 1133-309X, pp. 13–33
  • The postmodern ethnic condition in Ernesto Quiñónez’s Bodega Dreams" Domínguez, Barajas, Elias. Latino Studies, 2014, Volume 12, Issue 1, pg. 7–26.
  • Dreaming the Nuyorican In Ernesto Quiñonez's Bodega Dreams: Representations of Multicultural Citizenship In 21st Century Latino Literature, Flint, Holly, Bilingual Review, Volume 31, Issue 1.
  • The Fire Between Them: Religion & Gentrification In Ernesto Quinonez's Chango's Fire, Mendez, Susan C., CENTRO Journal, Spring 2011, Vol.23, Issue 1.
  • The Politics of Gentrification in Ernesto Quinonez's Novels, Moiles, Sean. Critique; 2011, Vol. 52 Issue 1.
  • Chapter 7: The Poetics of Aquí: Barriocentrism in Puerto Rican Diaspora Literature from Mean Streets to Neo- Noir, Dalia, Kandiyot, Migrant Sites, Dartmouth Press, 2010.
  • Reimagining the Ethnic Enclave: Gentrification, Rooted Cosmopolitanism, and Ernesto Quiñonez’s Chango’s Fire, Dwyer, June, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S., Volume 34, Number 2, Summer 2009.
  • On Bodega Dreams, Marwell, P. Nicole P., Sociological Forum, Volume 24, Issue 2, June 2009.
  • Chapter 7: Literary Tropicalizations of the Barrio: Ernesto Quiñonez's Bodega Dreams and Ed Vega's Mendoza's Dreams, Antonia Dominguez Miguela,Writiing Off the Hyphen: New Perspectives on the Literature of the *"Puerto Rican Diaspora, Editors, Jose L. Torres-Padilla, Carmen Haydee Rivera, University of Washington Press, 2008.
  • Chapter 13: Getting There and Back: The Road, the Journey, and Home in Nuyorican Diaspora Literature, Solimar Otero,Writiing Off the Hyphen: New Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora,Editors, Jose L. Torres-Padilla, Carmen Haydee Rivera, University of Washington Press, 2008.
  • Ernesto Quiñonez’s Fiction Seen As A Picaresque Narrative, Ignacio Rodeño Iturriaga, CENTRO Journal, Volume: 20 Issue: 2, Fall 2008.
  • Barrio, Bodega, and Botanica Aesthetics: The Layered Traditions of the Latino Imaginary, Solimar Otero, Atlantic Studies, October 2007.
  • Chapter 2: The Meaning of Consuelo and Chango’s Fire, Profane & Sacred: Latino/a American Writers Reveal the Interplay of the Secular and the Religious, Bridget A. Kevane, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2007.
  • Chapter 2: Mercado Dreams: The End(s) of Sixties Nostalgia in Comptemporary Ghetto Fiction, The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature, Raphael Dalleo, Elena Machado Saez, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
  • Chapter 8: The Fiction of Ernesto Quiñonez, Latino literature in America, Bridget A. Kevane, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003.
  • When Willie Met Gatsby: The Critical Implications of Ernesto Quiñonez's Bodega Dreams, Dwyer June, LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory 14.2, 2003.
  • Perchance to Dream: The Great Gatsby, Willie Bodega, and Other Related Topics." Jose L. Torres-Padilla. Latino(a) Research Review, 5.2&3 (2002-2003): 157-59.

  • Ernesto Quiñonez Check out this story about the Spanish Harlem by Ernesto Quinonez a


    Ernesto Quiñonez Wikipedia