Awards and Honors, Alumni News

Hernandez Receives Luis Leal Award

Tim Hernandez MFA '11 received University of California Santa Barbara’s 15th annual Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature.

Tim Hernandez

An accomplished writer, poet and literary scholar, Hernández is best known for his genre-bending novel, All They Will Call You, based on Woody Guthrie’s song, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee),” which recounts the airplane crash in California in 1948 that claimed the lives of 32 passengers, including 28 Mexican farmworkers being deported by the U.S. government; and Mañana Means Heaven, a work of historical fiction that weaves a portrait of Bea Franco, the real woman behind famed American author Jack Kerouac’s "The Mexican Girl." “The Mexican Girl” is part of Kerouac’s classic novel On the Road.

The Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature is named in honor of Luis Leal, a professor emeritus of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UC Santa Barbara, who was internationally recognized as a leading scholar of Chicano and Latino literature. Previous recipients of the award include Norma Cantú, Francisco Jiménez, Demetria Martínez, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Graciela Limón, Pat Mora, Alejandro Morales, Helena Maria Viramontes, Oscar Hijuelos, Rudolfo Anaya, Denise Chávez, Hector Tobar, John Rechy and Reyna Grande.