"Like his contemporary Claire Vaye Watkins, Skinner (Flight and Other Stories, etc.) has a nuclear focus on a person's sense of self in the context of a physical place. He continues this style in these lovingly crafted short stories about the denizens of the desert Southwest." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Skinner's stories, in large part because of his characters' rootedness, break new ground… A book people will seek out." -- Oscar Casares, author of Amigoland and Brownsville

“José Skinner's long-awaited second collection measures up to, and indeed surpasses, his critically acclaimed debut Flight and Other Stories. . . . Such dazzling storytelling was worth the wait.”Rigoberto González, NBC News Latino

Writers' League of Texas Discovery Prize Winner

"A varied, well-crafted and frequently daring collection… centering mostly around the complex interplay between whites and Latinos in the American Southwest." -- Publishers Weekly

Finalist, Western States Book Award for Fiction, Western States Arts Federation.

Finalist, Steven Turner Award, Texas Institute of Arts and Letters. 

Discover Great New Writers at Barnes & Noble selection.

Editors’ Choice, Best Adult Books for Young Adults, Booklist, American Library Association.


Sol Lit Selects: Five Years of Diverse Voices.

José's story "The Edge" is featured in Solstice Literary Magazine's selection of the best writing published in its first five years.

"Lovers of short stories will find a wide range of styles to admire—from Helen Elaine Lee’s lyrical depiction of love in prison, to José Skinner’s magical realism, to David Huddle’s realism, and three stylistically inventive short shorts."--from the introduction.

A bold collection of essays and personal stories that recount the struggles of communities dealing with drug cartels on both sides of the border. José's essay, "The Sicario in the Salon," based on his experience teaching in the Rio Grande Valley, is an acerbic piece of black humor that argues that drug violence has become so common that it is almost banal.

"According to José Skinner, one of the contributors to Sarah Cortez and Sergio Troncoso's remarkable collection of laments for a lost way of life along the frontera, the Reynosa daily newspaper El Mañana calls the prevailing climate of violence along the border 'la situación social de excepción.'--San Antonio Express-News, "An 'Exceptional Situation' on the Border."

Part of a series of noir anthologies launched in 2004 with Brooklyn NoirLas Vegas Noir features short stories by different authors associated with Las Vegas.  The Las Vegas Review Journal calls José's story "All About Balls," featuring a fifth-year graduate student in American Studies who cares more about his full head of hair than what’s beneath it, "wicked fun."

Fourteen stories explore the city through the eyes of dreamers and gamblers. "José Skinner's 'Naked City' is a finely wrought and funny story. It's set completely in Las Vegas, yet the characters never once set foot in a casino... And yet, without the crutch of an all-night gambling run, Skinner is able to deliver a[n] accurate picture of the Las Vegas I live in…"--Goeff Schumacher, Las Vegas Mercury.

Other Fiction:

"Peons." Isthmus 6 (Distinguished Story of 2017, Best American Short Stories)

“Sus Canciones.” In Antología Canicular, ed. Peter E. Browne. McAllen: Campamocha Editora, 2009.

"Looking Out" and "The Edge" Solstice Literary Magazine

"Qué Será Sol: English Writing in Mexico

"Plots" The Florida Review 36:1

"The Pedant" Border Senses 12

"Judge, Your Honor, Sir" Red Rock Review 19

"Crypto" Other Voices 44

"Counting Coup" Clackamas Literary Review Vol X

"The Extra" Third Coast 21

"Their Songs" Border Senses 10

"Book of Dreams" Border Senses 8

"Age of Copper" Witness 15.1

"Careful" Boulevard 31.1-2

"Backing Up" Colorado Review 27.2

"Cop" Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe 25.2

"Mentor" Red Rock Review 1.5

“Weeds” Western Humanities Review 52.2

“Hands” Blue Mesa Review 10 

“Lockjaw” Quarterly West 45 

“Winner’s Circle” Albuquerque Alibi 6.25 

“Archangela’s Place” Blue Mesa Review 

“Cargo” The Panhandler 31 

“Flight” Saguaro 

“Tetanus Case” New Frontiers of New Mexico 2.3 

“Families” Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe 20.1 

"Pickup" Descant 34.1 

"Cosas, Inc." Blue Mesa Review 7

“Spring.” Saguaro 9. Reprinted in translation into Spanish in Tameme: New Literature of North America/Nueva Literatura de Norteamérica 3

“Boxed in by Borges.” Coe Review 25th Anniversary Special Experimental Issue