Patricia Santana


year milestone

Patricia is born in San Diego on Charlotte Brontë's birthday.



Kindergarten in El Grullo, Jalisco, Mexico.



Sunnyslope Elementary and her first novel about a pony titled "Little One."



Southwest Junior High and frenzied diary writing.



Montgomery High School and absolutely no one allowed to read her growing volumes of diaries.



UC San Diego, B.A. in Spanish & English Literature



UC Los Angeles, M.A. in Comparative Literature



The Narrative

Patricia Santana’s first novel, Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility (University of New Mexico Press, 2002), was selected as a Best Books for Young Adults 2003 by the American Library Services Association and is San Diego Magazine’s 2003 Book Award winner in fiction. Her novel is part of the California Readers' Collection 2003. In manuscript form, Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility was the 1999 winner of the University of California Chicano/Latino Literary Contest.

Patricia's second novel, Ghosts of El Grullo (University of New Mexico Press, 2008), is the winner of the Before Columbus American Book Award, the San Diego Book Award in Fiction, and the Premio Aztlán Award which was presented at the National Latino Writers Conference. Both novels have been required reading in colleges and universities.  They have also been selected as book club reads by a variety of literacy programs as well as numerous organizations dealing with at-risk students.

Patricia comes from a Mexican immigrant family.  At age five she was sent to her grandparents' home in El Grullo, Mexico to begin her education, but she was too homesick to complete the year.  Growing up, she, her eight siblings and parents shared an 800 square foot home in California, five miles north of the Mexican border.  She received her B.A. in Spanish and English Literature from the University of California, San Diego and her M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Patricia has been a presenter and keynote speaker at multiple colleges and universities.  She currently serves as chair of the World Languages department at Cuyamaca College and is working on a new novel.