About Brando Skyhorse
Brando Skyhorse is an American author and winner of the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2011 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction for his novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park.
On his name: His Mexican mother loved Marlon Brando. At 3, after his father left, he was renamed after his first stepfather, who was Native American. He didn't learn that his biological father was Mexican-American until he was 12 or 13.
About "Take this Man: A Memoir" (publication: June 10, 2014)
"When he was three years old, Brando Kelly Ulloa was abandoned by his Mexican father. His mother, Maria, dreaming of a more exciting life, saw no reason for her son to live his life as a Mexican just because he started out as one. The life of “Brando Skyhorse,” the American Indian son of an incarcerated political activist, was about to begin.
Through a series of letters to Paul Skyhorse Johnson, a stranger in prison for armed robbery, Maria reinvents herself and her young son as American Indians in the colorful Mexican-American neighborhood of Echo Park, California. There Brando and his mother live with his acerbic grandmother and a rotating cast of surrogate fathers. It will be over thirty years before Brando begins to untangle the truth of his own past, when a surprise discovery online leads him to his biological father at last."
From The Diane Rehm show on NPR Wednesday June 4, 2014
In his latest book, Skyhorse returns to Echo Park, this time with the true story of his turbulent upbringing, a childhood surrounded by lies and half-truths. Abandoned by his Mexican father, he was raised by his mother and grandmother, also of Mexican descent, as a “full blooded Indian brave.” A series of five stepfathers floated in and out of his life,each presented as his new dad and each further splintering his notion of family.