My mother published a novel when I was six. Before that, we had been your typical suburban family: father working, mother staying home and taking care of the eight children (did I mention that we were Catholic?) but once the media got a hold of the story ("Mother of Eight Writes Novel") she had her fifteen minutes of fame. The funny thing was that the book was only mentioned in passing in all of these articles, and many of them even got the title wrong. So I guess that fostered my inborn desire to write but also my distrust of the whole "writer as a celebrity" idea. (The nuns did a good job at keeping me humble, too). Since 1996, I have worked with the indigenous Kuna people of Panama as a cultural guide and a technical advisor to a women's cooperative.
My first influence was John Gardner, whose fiction inspired me early in my reading career. My most major influence was Gabriel Garcia Marquez: I learned Spanish by reading his books word by laborious word and in doing that, I ended up kind of absorbing a lot about his writing. Most recently, I've been astonished by Roberto Bolano's shorter works and his major novels.
The Permanent Press
articulation of indigenous rights (organization: Cultural Survival)
sustainable, renewable, and independent energy sources
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