Fiction. Winner of the 2006 AWP Award for the Novel. Nicholas Delbanco, Judge. In his debut novel, THE TRUTH, Geoff Rips creates a moral universe in a series of tales narrated by the palsied hunchback Chuy Pingarron who spends his days on the front porch of a San Antonio whorehouse and is proud to be dubbed "the standard of perversion" by those whose stories he tells. Through his twisted perspective we meet the Midwife who is also the house's madam, the philosopher Don Apolo who lives in an iron lung, and Angelita, famous for her hands. Chuy relates the sad story of the impenetrable Soledad, deemed by her mother to be a saint; of la Ramona, whose one eye looks into your soul while the other looks away; and of the enigmatic la Verdad, whose customers seek her out to learn their fortunes. At turns comic and tragic, Chuy's story meditates on the most ancient questions: how do you live a life and what does it mean?
Geoff Rips was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He received his BA from Wesleyan University and an MA in English/Creative Writing from Indiana University. Rips has been the editor of the Texas Observer, worked with colonias on the Texas/Mexico Border to secure water and wastewater services, and, as a Soros Foundation Fellow, wrote about the function of public schools on the Border as a point of entry into US society. Rips has taught night school at San Antonio Community College, served as policy director for Jim Hightower's Texas Department of Agriculture, worked as speechwriter for a handful of decent politicians, and currently serves as director of special projects for Austin, Texas, public schools. Through it all, he has spent many late nights writing fiction and poetry in a room attached to his garage, and has published short stories, poetry, and criticism in small magazines, journals, and newspapers. He lives in Austin with his elementary school principal wife and two mostly grown, nearly perfect daughters.