Thomas Sanchez

Thomas Sanchez

Alfred Knopf & Vintage Books

The narrative of Thomas Sanchez' life and works illuminates a fierce belief in spiriting experience, artistry, wit and wisdom into books and films. Sanchez engages the tumult of a world that is skewed against social justice, is in perpetual migratory flux and faces environmental urgency.

Sanchez is a fifth generation Californian born days after his father was killed in World War II. When Sanchez was a boy he was sent to an orphanage-boarding school with Whites, Blacks, Native Americans and Latinos.

As a young man Sanchez worked at various jobs in California, as a long distance truck driver in the Central Valley, a fruit cutter and picker in the Santa Clara Valley, a day laborer in the hills of Marin, a carpenter in the redwoods of Santa Cruz, a cowboy in the High Sierra.

Throughout the 1960s in California, Sanchez participated in many of the eras iconic social and political events, the strikes of the Farm Workers in the Central Valley, the tumultuous U.C. Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the counter-culture explosion in the legendary Haight-Ashbury District.

During his twenties Sanchez dedicated seven years to writing RABBIT BOSS while living below the poverty line. The novel recounts the tragedy and triumph of a proud peoples' spirit. It is the profoundly moving 100 year saga of a Native American family who survived against all odds through the California Gold Rush, the Silver Rush, the building of railroads, forest clear-cutting, damming of rivers, freeway dissections and ultimate dispossession of ancestral lands.

Sanchez was in the confidence of Washo Indian Elders born in the 1890s and worked together for years with Native Americans on cattle ranches. Sanchez fought alongside Native Americans in the violent 1973 Siege of Wounded Knee, where he was presented by Lakota Sioux Elders with a sacred warrior amulet to protect him in battle. The first Indian to die in the Wounded Knee Siege was a Cherokee who Sanchez risked his life to guide in across the Dakota Badlands and through the U.S. Government "shoot-to-kill" military zone.


*** First annual California Classics Barbary Coast Award 2016

*** "Hailed as a landmark of our literature." - Vanity Fair

*** "Etched in unforgettable prose. Sanchez is to be congratulated." - Vine Deloria, Standing Rock Sioux, author of Custer Died For Your Sins

*** "Like One Hundred Years of Solitude will haunt the conscience of history forever." Figaro France

*** "An understanding of the Indians' transition of cultures."
George Morrison, Chippewa Tribe, Minneapolis Tribune

Sanchez' second novel, ZOOT-SUIT MURDERS, set in 1940s Los Angeles, explores a chaotic wartime homeland of tough barrio gangs, Communist hysteria, bizarre religious cults and undercover government agents.


*** "May be the best of the home-front novels of World War II." - Los Angeles Times

*** "Powerful fiction, a vivid tale of political intrigue by a master of pictorial detail. - Chicago Tribune

*** "A deeply political book told in hauntingly lyrical prose." Washington Post

*** Awarded Guggenheim Foundation Grant

In the 1980s Sanchez traveled throughout the American tropics and was in harm's way during the civil wars of Guatemala and El Salvador, where he traversed political and physical jungles with guerrilla fighters, renegade priests, CIA spooks and hard-bitten war journalists. Much of this made its way into Sanchez' third novel, MILE ZERO, a generational panoramic of ship-wreckers, drug pirates and gun-runners on the island of Key West.


*** "Forges a new world vision. Rich in the intertextuality of Steinbeck and Cervantes." - Los Angeles Times

*** "Dazzling...masterpiece...bursting with vital characters."
-- New York Times

*** "A holy terror of a book of immense power and passion."
- Washington Post

*** "Myth-making and magical." - Vanity Fair

In 2000, after living in the mountains on the island Mallorca, Sanchez published DAY OF THE BEES. The novel explores the hidden life of a French woman transformed from a Spanish artist's muse into a Resistance fighter.


*** Sanchez awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.

*** "A literary landmark, a novel of unforgettable power about love and war, art and freedom." - Le Monde France

*** "A mystery of the heart... lush and haunting...absolutely transporting."
- Philadelphia Inquirer

At the beginning of the 21st century Sanchez returned to the tropics for his fifth novel, KING BONGO. The novel is set against the glamor and intrigue of pre-revolutionary 1950s Havana, where Cuban and American cultures collided with explosive geo-political consequence. Sanchez was the only American novelist to interview in Havana, Mario Morales Mesa, famed Cuban Revolutionary fighter and head of the Narcotics and Gangster Bureaus.


*** "An exotic portrait of sex, violence, corruption and conspiracy in Cuba."
- Washington Post

*** "Big picture epic story-telling full of believable myth. - San Francisco Chronicle

*** "A passport into Cuba's many layers, comfortable with the sun-kissed and damned." --Miami Herald

For his sixth novel, AMERICAN TROPIC, Sanchez returned to America's Southernmost Point, the exotic island of Key West. The novel illuminates a world of ecological rage and striking revelations as it propels through a complex maze populated by defenders of America's only Continental reef, rapacious developers, ruthless scammers, destroyers of marine life and common folk engaged in defiant acts to save the eco-system of their paradise.


*** "A power packed thriller. Rises to the level of ferocious dramatic polemic against some of the worst crimes against nature and humanity." - San Francisco Chronicle

*** "A fever dream eco-thriller...a sense of near apocalyptic doom. - Booklist

*** "Swift moving with a timely message. The print equivalent of a film by Robert Altman." - Richmond Times Dispatch

Sanchez recently worked directing a documentary, LIFE AFTER LIFE, based on the last living member of the original iconic Actors Studio who survived as a boy eleven concentration camps during World War II. Sanchez' seventh novel will be published in 2017.
The complete set of Thomas Sanchez novels are published by Alfred Knopf & Vintage Books at Penguin Random House.

Contact: Vintage Books - New York.
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