After graduating from Harvard, I worked in Venezuela and other Latin American countries, finally getting a Ph.D. in sociology (Northwestern U.) and teaching and writing on Latin American themes. I began writing fiction later, including a book of short stories, Welcome to My Contri (reviewed in New York Times, 1988) and many other stories in print and online journals. I have also written five nonfiction books on Latin America.
My new novel, A GIFT FOR THE SULTAN, about Constantinople and its siege by the Ottomans in 1402 (51 years before the conquest by Mehmet), was released in October 2010. The paperback is available from Amazon.com and other sellers, and as an e-book from Kindle and Smashwords.
Work as a community organizer in Venezuelan shantytowns right after graduation from college led me to study sociology and to write about social issues, especially in Latin America and among Latin Americans in the U.S. Frustrated with the limits of academic writing to imagine other lives, I began writing fiction around 1980. A great influence and mentor has been the poet and teacher Walter James Miller, whom I first met as a student in his New York University Summer Writers Conference; he later asked me to return as an instructor. And of course everything I read and everywhere I travel influences my work.
A history of architecture and urbanism in Latin America (with architect Susana Torre), a multivolume awork on the built environment from pre-Columbian times to our day, to be published by W. W. Norton
W. W. Norton; University of Arizona Press; HarperCollins
I play classical guitar (a little), and am learning flamenco guitar. I also participate in a club in which we learn (memorize) texts (poems, short stories, passages of novels, etc.) to deliver them orally, performing in libraries, schools, hospitals and other places. I also maintain two blogs, one in English and another in Spanish. (See below.)
Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières
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