HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Thomas Ray Garcia is a Pharr native, writer, educator, scholar, and entrepreneur.

Garcia is promoting his latest book, “The River Runs” which is a collection of short stories about present life along the Texas-Mexico border, as seen by the complex characters.

“This book is very special to me because it tells a story about what it means to grow up along the US-Mexico borderlands. The stories are written from 2015 to 2020 and I have the manuscript finally accepted for the Americo Paredes Literary Arts Prize. It was a life changer for me,” said Garcia.

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley Garcia says he often faced identity struggles.

“As a white-skinned Mexican American and feeling like I wasn’t quite American enough, not quite Mexican enough, I wanted to convey that and I think through fiction, you have the power to convey stories that can reach across different groups of people. So if you’re from the border, I think in “The River Runs”, you’re gonna see yourself represented. I think if you’re not from the border, you’re gonna understand a region in a new light,” he said.

Garcia hopes Valley people feel proud about being from the RGV after reading his book.

“The River Runs” is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through his website and locally at Buho in Brownsville and the McAllen Heritage Center.