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Danny Trejo’s life is getting the memoir treatment in Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood, set for publication July 6 from Atria Books.
The cover image and publication date news hit today along with word that the book will be published simultaneously in English and Spanish, as an audiobook from Simon & Schuster Audio and a forthcoming young readers edition. Trejo is co-writing Trejo with his best friend of 20 years, fellow actor Donal Logue.
“A special thank you to Donal Logue, who is not only an incredible actor but a beautiful writer. We’ve been on sets together for everything from Reindeer Games to Sons of Anarchy, but the three years we spent working on this book brought us closer than ever,” Trejo said in a statement. “He’s talented in so many ways, but the way he crafted my story really brought it to life.”
Logue took to Twitter to share his response to the news break, saying, “The more I know Danny, the more I am amazed.”
— donal logue (@donallogue) February 9, 2021
Much is already known about Trejo’s story, but the memoir allows him to share it in his own words. He had a rocky youth, using heroin at 12 and ending up in prison a few years later. He did stints in some of America’s most notorious institutions, including San Quentin, Folsom and Soledad. He turned his life around behind bars, becoming a top prison boxer at San Quentin, where he eventually kicked drugs and alcohol and got sober. He has since become a recovery advocate as he’s stayed sober for more than 52 years.
The iconic actor, who remains one of Hollywood’s hardest-working stars at 76 years old, is best known for being a gritty action star, but off-set he’s a philanthropic force who has long given back to his L.A. community while building a mini-empire that includes such businesses as Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts and Trejo’s Tacos. He previously shared his story via the 2019 documentary Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo.
“Danny Trejo is more than an actor for the millions of Mexican Americans, like me, who love him,” says Michelle Herrera Mulligan, senior editor at Atria Books. “He is a legend. A role model. The first Chicano action star. Someone we can always hold up as a hero who made it. One of my proudest acquisitions to date, this book shows us the difficult path it took to get him there, in unforgettable, literary detail.”
Trejo added that his hope in publishing a memoir is that others can see that it doesn’t matter where you start but how you finish. “At 76, this memoir was an opportunity for me to be fearlessly honest for the first time about the terrifying brutality of my experiences in the hardest prisons in the world, the family secrets that tore lives apart, my personal bottom while I was in the hole in Soledad facing a possible death penalty charge, the role God played in turning my life around, my acting career that started at the age of 40 by simply showing up to a set to help another addict in need, and how all of it shaped the person I am.”
Herrera Mulligan acquired North American rights from Albert Lee at UTA. Trejo is repped by Gloria Hinojosa at Amsel, Eisenstadt, Frazier and Hinojosa.
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