BOMB Magazine: Cristina García
interview by Chris Abani
There are many things that can be said about Cristina García: That she is one of the most important Cuban American voices in U.S. literature. That she was born in Havana but moved to New York City with her parents after Fidel Castro came to power. That she grew up in Queens, Brooklyn Heights, and Manhattan. That she has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Barnard College, and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins. That her first job was a marketing position with Procter and Gamble in West Germany, which she held for three months. That she has been a journalist for Time. That from 1990 onwards she has written fiction full-time.
Or one could talk about her gifted daughter Pilar. That she speaks Spanish to her daughter and her friends, believing that we will learn by osmosis, because life cannot be contained in one language, because beauty is too fluid for one tongue. It has been rumored that she sometimes has an uncomfortable relationship with Cubans, both on the island and in Miami because she has generally not engaged in anti-Castro activism. That she is a Cuban deeply embedded in the Salvadoran community. That she thinks there are many ways to be Cuban, and human and alive. That she is generous and giving and loving and paints, and dances and has a complicated and deeply beautiful spirituality. That she loves antique stores and thrifting and old style movies and the French Avant Garde. That her Cuban beans and rice and chicken taste like you’ve always imagined they should.
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