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I’m the daughter of Cuban exiles who migrated to the United States in 1960, fleeing communism. After several years working as a bilingual secretary I obtained a scholarship to Columbia University’s School of General Studies in 1968 and was later admitted to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, earning a master’s degree in 1974. My student days at Columbia politicized me and I embraced such liberal causes as the anti-war movement and the feminist revolution, my ideas and beliefs set me apart from mainstream Cuban exiles.
While living in Manhattan I worked as a freelance editor, translator, and commercial writer. In 1979 I made a three-week trip to Cuba with a group of young left-wing exiles, after which I wrote an extensive article about my experience, a story that was picked up by two major American newspapers. Upon my return from Cuba I worked in sales for New York publishing houses and traveled extensively throughout Latin America. I also resided briefly in London and Madrid before returning to New York.
I met my husband in Houston in 1988 and followed him to California. With an emergency teaching credential, I started working at a local elementary school teaching children of immigrant farm workers. I went on to obtain a bilingual cross-cultural teaching credential from California Lutheran University. I’m also a 2001 University of Santa Barbara Fellow and Teacher-Consultant of the South Coast Writing Project. I retired in 2008 in order to devote all my time to writing, and now live in Camarillo, CA, with my husband and our beloved KC Cavalier, Chloe.
A probing tale of an exile’s quest for a new self, Approaching Freedom follows Maria Nodarse’s journey from her arrival as a Cuban political refugee in 1960s America to her return to her native land in 1979. Nodarse is fifteen when her family settles in a white, middle-class New Jersey town. In Cuba she had… [Read More]
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