Richard Rodriguez

Richard Rodriguez is best known to many Americans as a journalist in print and on television. His essays appeared, over many years, in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times. He was also, for nearly two decades, an essayist on the PBS NewsHour, commenting in his singular, eccentric voice on the great public issues of our time. Rodriguez has been hailed in the Washington Post as "one of the most eloquent and probing public intellectuals in America." His reputation as one of our most gifted literary essayists is the result of three memoirs on social class, ethnicity, and race, respectively: Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982); Days of Obligation: An Argument with my Mexican Father (1992); and Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002). With his newest book, Darling, and in a prose style that has enchanted critics, Rodriguez investigates the "desert religions"--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--after September 11th; the modern fear of place (and the body) in secular America; and the future of women. In 1992, Richard Rodriguez was among the first intellectuals to receive the National Endowment Medal, the highest award the federal government bestows to honor work in the humanities.