Hector Tobar

In Deep Down Dark, UCI Chicano/Latino studies and English associate professor Héctor Tobar tells the stories of thirty-three miners who were trapped for sixty-nine days under thousands of feet of rock when the San José mine collapsed in Copiapó, Chile in 2010. The masterful work recently earned the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist a spot on GQ Magazine's 50 Best Books of Literary Journalism of the 21st Century

Writes Rosecrans Baldwin, GQ contributor and the author of Everything Now: “With careful pacing, Tobar makes the story so visceral and gripping, it’s almost a fly-on-the-wall account of a natural disaster. But it's the humanity of the men's relationships that makes the account so extraordinary.”

The book was a Silver Medal California Book Award winner, one of Publishers Weekly’s Best 10 Books of the Year, and a New York Times Notable Book and Bestseller for eight weeks running. It was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award.

Tobar is the author of five books including his latest, The Last Great Road Bum, which follows the story of an American who circled the globe in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and died fighting with the rebels in the Salvadoran revolution. He’s written for The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and other publications. Tobar earned his MFA in creative writing, fiction at UCI in 1995 while working as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He spent 18 years with the LA paper, holding posts as critic, columnist, foreign correspondent, national correspondent, and city reporter. Alongside his journalism career, Tobar has also held academic positions as a lecturer with Antioch University in Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Pomona College, and Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon for three years before joining the UCI faculty in 2017.


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