Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ricardo Cortez Cruz  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1964 in Decatur, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Ricardo Cortez Cruz on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Cruz is a Professor and the Creative Writng Associate Chair at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Straight Outta Compton
ISBN: 0932511619

Fiction Collective 2. 1992

Straight Outta Compton is about living large, living in the fast lane. It raps to its readers about being black, being born and raised in the L.A. ghetto, being so-called "Niggaz 4-Life," being sweet on black life (for those in it, the beat goes on). It focuses on the lives of two black men, Rooster and Clive-nem, who grow up together in Compton. Clive starts out like a big brother to Rooster, but Rooster changes. After Clive's daddy dies of a drug overdose, the story shifts. Rooster, the main character living large, becomes obsessed with women. Meanwhile, Clive wants to break from Compton. He and Rooster split up, fall into rival gangs - the Bloods and the Crips - and begin to hate each other. Clive has other problems besides Rooster - namely, Compton. He thinks that he's made a girl pregnant. He's involved with gangs. Straight Outta Compton samples from all aspects of black life in its search to have its characters find what rapper Heavy D. would call a "Peaceful Journey." It wasn't just written it was mixed by a DJ, and the result is hyped!

Five Days of Bleeding (Black Ice Books)
ISBN: 1573660035

Fiction Collective 2. 1995

Five Days of Bleeding is the black experience in sound, a fight to dance and celebrate cultural roots, and the struggle of a dark homeless woman, Zu-Zu Girl, to have voice in White America.

Taunted by the violent character "Chops," Zu-Zu sings to keep her spirit alive in New York City's Central Park. Zu-Zu and the novel's narrator have a relationship which is transformed into a stormy, dreamlike urban affair. Their oppressive situation is depicted through multiple collages of sound and image, a funky mix of original and sampled cuts, both literary and musical.

The social chaos around them is remixed in a text consisting of street beats, classic breaks, and fresh-cool cadences. Bleeding proves that the loudest noises of moral panic can be gunshots, to be sure, but they can also be the very human sound of the music of hope and despair.


Charles H. and N. Mildred Nilon Award for Excellence in Minority Fiction

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