“I am a writer from a particular community in Texas,” says 38-year-old Sergio Troncoso. “It’s not even El Paso. It’s Ysleta, the east side of El Paso. I grew up around cotton fields and combines.” That environment has emerged in Troncoso’s stories years after he left for the East Coast, where he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned master’s degrees in international relations and philosophy from Yale University. Though he now lives in New York City, Ysleta is the recurring setting in The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, his first collection of short stories, which was published in September by the University of Arizona Press. This month Troncoso will be joining the Lone Star literati at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, where he’ll be reading from his work and participating in a panel discussion. What can readers expect from him after that? He has already finished his first novel, Truth and Murder, a work he describes as an updating of Dostoevski’s Crime and Punishment. And though that book is set mostly at Yale, it’s clear that he continues to draw his inspiration from the world of his youth: He has started writing a second novel, which is set in—you guessed it—West Texas.