Hector Tobar's book about the buried Chilean miners, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle That Set Them Free, is coming next month from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. But he has some other big news first. Tobar has resigned from the Los Angeles Times, where most recently he has been a staff writer on books and culture, to take a teaching position at the University of Oregon. Tobar had previously been a foreign correspondent and a Metro reporter, among other LAT assignments.
From his Facebook page, posted by his wife Virginia Espino:
This is Hector's last week at the LA Times. For those of you who have yet to hear the news, he has resigned and is taking a teaching position in Eugene, Oregon. It feels good to put it out there in the universe. It was a hard decision, but a necessary one. We imagine the life of a professor will open up some time for him to focus on his own writing. He's got lots more books outlined in his mind just waiting for his attention. And who wouldn't love to work with students? It's an ideal situation, just not an ideal location.
In the spirit of his last week at the paper of our beloved city I am feeling grateful and nostalgic for the wonderful experiences I've had witnessing Hector cover important stories here and abroad for the LA Times. One of my favorites is learning about Rapa Nui and their effort to fight colonialism and preserve the indigenous language. Me and the boys got to see the Island with him and it was an unforgettable journey.
Espino has created a Facebook page for discussion of Tobar's work. [* Updated:] His first novel was
"The Tattooed Solider," set in immigrant Los Angeles and Guatemala, followed by his second novel, "The Barbarian Nurseries," set in the world of Latino housekeepers in Los Angeles and gated Orange County. Tobar is also the author of "Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States."
Also this month, Metro reporter Robert J. Lopez announced he was leaving to take a communications job at Cal State LA.