Cristina Garcia: Biography
04 jul 1958
Cristina Garcia is a journalist and novelist born in Havana, Cuba in 1958. She and her family fled the country in the first exodus of people from the island after Castro came to power. In 1961, aged just two years old, her family settled in New York City. She learned English at school but spoke Spanish in the family home. She graduated with a degree in political science from Barnard College and went on to gain a master’s in International Relations from John Hopkins University. She worked as a reporter and researcher for Time Magazine before turning to writing novels.
Her six novels are highly acclaimed and have won multiple awards. Her first work of fiction, Dreaming in Cuban, was a finalist for the National Book Award when it was first published in 1992. Cristina Garcia draws on her Cuban heritage and the stories of family members as inspiration for her novels. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, an NEA grant and a Whiting Writers’ Award.
She is a bold writer, and her journalistic background means that she is comfortable tackling big social issues and current affairs stories. Her latest novel, King of Cuba, is a comic and satirical portrait of Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro and has been just as well-reviewed as her pervious 5 works of fiction.
Cristina Garcia has held many teaching posts over the years, but has been teaching as the Visiting Affiliate Professor in Creative writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 2009.