About Gordo

In the New York Times Book Review, Mateo Askaripour said of Gordo: “this is the book’s superpower: the cultivation of empathy. In Gordo, Cortez assumes the role of a documentarian, depicting the comical, difficult, and heartfelt realities of his characters, where hurt, in some form or another, may be lurking around every corner, but so is joy.”

We read to understand, to empathize, and to value the lives of others, especially those whose lives differ from our own. As with many of the books we remember and appreciate, Gordo contains truths about the world, family challenges, and struggles with identity. Cortez offers a range of emotion with fleeting moments of physical or emotional trauma that are scaffolded by the strength of the central character’s extended family.

About the Author

Jaime Cortez is a Chicano-American writer and visual artist. He has published fiction, essays, and drawings in a range of publications. His work explores narratives of people of color and experiences of LGBTQ+, and he often sets his stories in San Juan Bautista or Watsonville, CA, towns where he spent his early years. Popular culture, music, and mythologies influence Cortez’s writing. Gordo is his debut collection of short stories and it is semi-autobiographical. Cortez is an LGBTQ+ rights activist and he engages in HIV/AIDS prevention work. Currently, he also serves as a Program Officer in Performing Arts at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He has worked in the Bay Area as an artist and an art educator.  

Common Read Committee

  • Mr. Caldwell (English)
  • Dean Camilus (OMA)
  • Ms. Hurley (Health)
  • Ms. Langevin (Health)
  • Ms. Rohloff (Library)
  • Ms. Soucy (Health)
  • Ms. Waterman (Science)

Get In Touch

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