Achy Obejas

California, United States

Member Since: 09/17/2011


Born in Havana, Cuba, Achy Obejas has written fiction, poetry, and journalism. She is the author of five books, including three powerful novels: Days of Awe, Memory Mambo, and Ruins. Her poetry chapbook, This is What Happened in Our Other Life, was both a critical favorite and a best-seller. As a Cuban-American, she writes about the struggle between public and private identities and the effects of power and powerlessness. In recent years, she has taken on complicated and challenging translation projects including the Spanish-language versions of Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her. The rare translator who can work in and out of two languages, she has translated into English such contemporary Latin American writers as Rita Indiana, F. G. Haghenbeck and Wendy Guerra. Trained as a journalist, she has worked in the alternative press, including In These Times, where she writes a monthly column, as well as the Chicago Tribune. She is the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellowship, a team Pulitzer Prize for the series “Gateway to Gridlock” while at the Tribune, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry, the Studs Terkel Journalism Award, a Cintas Foundation Fellowship and 2014 USA Ford Fellowship. She is currently the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, California.



Twitter Username: @achylandia


  • Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College (July 2013 - )


  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing-Fiction from Warren Wilson College (1993)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Poetry