American essayist and teacher. Born in San Francisco to Mexican American immigrant parents, Rodriguez learned to speak English in a Catholic grammar school in Sacramento, California, and went on to earn a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. from Columbia University. Once a doctoral candidate in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley, Rodriguez opted instead to pursue his own path as a teacher, journalist, and author. He now works for the Pacific News Service and is a regular guest on
PBS NewsHour. In Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), he recounts his sometimes painful assimilation into mainstream American society. His next two books, Days of Obligation: A Letter to My Mexican Father (1992) and Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002), further explore the tensions between his Mexican and his American selves. His most recent book is Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography (2013). See also "Regarding Mystery: An Interview with Richard Rodriguez" at parisreview.org.