Born in 1935 in the remote brush country of Texas near the Mexican border to Gonzalo Guzman and Maria Saenz García, Lionel C. García was later to write fiction for nearly three decades before seeing significant publication of and attention to his works. A regional writer, García has lived most of his life in this desolate, dirt-ridden part of the United States.
Interested in science and biology, García entered Texas A&M University. He earned a B.S. in 1956; he also took classes in and otherwise pursued creative writing as an undergraduate. García twice served two-year terms in the U.S. Army, the first of which was in 1957-1958. A year after leaving the military, he married Noemi Barrera. He returned to active duty in 1959.
Resolved not to pursue a military career, he returned to Texas A&M in the early 1960’s, where he eventually earned the D.V.M. degree, which would provide most of his life’s work outside the literary world. He became a practicing veterinarian in the late 1960’s, after spending three years as an assistant professor of anatomy, again at Texas A&M. Perhaps surprisingly, though, he makes little use of his biology and primary profession in his fiction.
While serving in the military and teaching college classes, García’s side interest—perhaps at heart it was always his main one—was writing short stories. He had published his first story in the undergraduate literary magazine during his...
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