Domingo Martinez


“One of the most anticipated books of fall 2014.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Domingo Martinez is an essential new American voice, and My Heart Is a Drunken Compassdelivers on the promise of The Boy Kings of Texas. In a life of chaos and pain he manages to find grace, and humor, and—contrary to the title of this book—real moral purpose.
This is a riveting book.”
—Dave Eggers

“To be an aspiring writer from a poor Mexican American family of heavy drinkers on the border might read tragic if it weren’t so hilarious in Martinez’s My Heart is a Drunken Compass. Might seem easier when he moves to the Northwest and tries to make like one of the civilized. Glazed, troubled, often lost, Martinez’s too hot, drunken heart is still awful funny in cool Seattle.”
Dagoberto Gilb, author of Before the End, After the Beginning and Woodcuts of Women


From Domingo Martinez, the National Book Award finalist
and the New York Times best-selling author
of The Boy Kings of Texas, comes a bittersweet narrative
of love, grief, and family.


With his trademark tragic-comical voice and arresting storytelling, Domingo Martinez once again delivers a deeply personal memoir full of wry asides and poignant, thoughtful reflections in MY HEART IS A DRUNKEN COMPASS: A Memoir (Lyons Press, November 2014; 978-1-4930-0140-8, $26.95 hardcover), an illuminating new memoir of loss, grief, resilience, and recovery in which Martinez brilliantly examines the complicated connections between family, friends, and loved ones.

MY HEART IS A DRUNKEN COMPASS inspires readers by showing that it is through adversity, redemption, and recovery that we truly come to understand who we are and how resilient we can be. Tragedies may seem difficult, but in the wake of the struggle bonds are tightened, families are reunited, and true love is found. 


Praise for THE BOY KINGS OF TEXAS, by Domingo Martinez

“An emotional roller coaster rendered in exquisite detail.”
Publishers Weekly

Recounting the author’s tough upbringing in Brownsville, Texas, this finalist for the National Book Award joins a rich body of Mexican American coming-of-age narratives.”
The Washington Post
Best of 2012: 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction

“A finely tuned, sentimental family scrapbook inscribed with love.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A hilarious and heartbreaking story of a sensitive soul who grows up in the macho barrio of Brownsville, Texas.”
—Seattle Times

With The Boy Kings of Texas, a new and important truth about those Rio Grande Valley border towns like Brownsville and McAllen has finally emerged, one that takes into account the brainy boys of the barrio who read Cyrano de Bergerac between waiting tables at the Olive Garden, and play hooky at the Holiday Inn in order to discuss foreign films. Sure, there have always been stories about smart kids who want to leave town or risk going nowhere in life. In the Valley, where there is also a high chance of succumbing to border violence, Martinez unveils the lives of smart kids who feel they need to leave town or else simply die of boredom.”
—Dallas Morning News

“Martinez’s story is heartrending and uncomfortable, but he maintains a surprising sense of humor that keeps his reader cringing and rooting for him. A starkly honest memoir of growing up on the Texas-Mexican border in the 1970s and ‘80s, with a wry twist.” —Shelf Awareness

“A nonfiction masterpiece.”
Texas Observer