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Victor Martinez (author)

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Name  Victor Martinez

Role  Poet
Victor Martinez (author) therumpusnetwpcontentuploads20110218050110
Died  February 18, 2011, San Francisco, California, United States
Books  The Sunless Soul, Der Papagei im Ofen, Caring for a house, Le perroquet mexicain
Education  Stanford University, California State University, Fresno
Awards  National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Pura Belpre Award for Writing
Nominations  ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards - Fantasy Film
Similar People  John Refoua, Simon Bright, Sean Haworth, Ryan Church, Andrew Menzies

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Victor L. Martinez (February 21, 1954 – February 18, 2011) was a Mexican American poet and author. He won the 1996 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature for his first novel, Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida.


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Victor Martinez (author) Homage for Victor Martinez

Martinez was the born in Fresno, California to migrant agricultural field workers of the Central Valley. He was one of twelve children. Victor attended California State University at Fresno and later obtained a graduate degree from Stanford University on a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship. He began writing as a poet and published a book of poetry, "Caring for a House," in 1992. He was a member of Humanizarte, a collective of Chicano poets, and later of the Chicano/Latino Writers' Center of San Francisco. He supported himself with jobs as a welder, truck driver, firefighter, teacher, and office clerk. In February 2011, he died of lung cancer at age 56 in San Francisco.

Parrot in the Oven

Victor Martinez (author) imgssfgatecomblogsimagessfgateinthemission2

Martinez and his first novel Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida won a National Book Award in 1996.

Parrot was a semi-autobiographical account of a 14-year-old Mexican American boy growing up "in a world of gangs, violence and poverty" in the projects of Central Valley (California). Martinez wrote the novel for adults but an editor suggested promoting it in the young adult fiction market. It has been translated into languages including Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and German, and widely acclaimed by young people around the world.


  • Caring For A House, Chusma House Publications, 1992, ISBN 978-0-9624536-4-9
  • Novels

  • El loro en el horno: mi vida, Noguer y Caralt, 2003, ISBN 978-84-279-3238-8
  • Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida. HarperCollins. 1998. ISBN 978-0-06-447186-2. 
  • Anthologies

  • Roger Weingarten, Richard Higgerson, eds. (2003). "I'm Still Alive; Failed Teachers; Sisters; A Tiny Man of Print". Poets of the new century. David R. Godine Publisher. ISBN 978-1-56792-178-6. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  • Gerald W. Haslam, ed. (1999). "Don't Forget". Many Californias: literature from the Golden State. University of Nevada Press. ISBN 978-0-87417-325-3. 
  • References

    Victor Martinez (author) Wikipedia

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