Laje, Zilia L. 1941-

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LAJE, Zilia L. 1941-

PERSONAL:

Born February 1, 1941, in Havana, Cuba; U.S. citizen; daughter of Luis B. (a bill collector) and Zilia Isabel (a typist; maiden name, Bello) Laje; married November 6, 1965 (divorced, May, 1972); children: Alberto L. Domínguez. Ethnicity: "White, Spanish." Education: Attended Escuela Profesional de Comercio del Vedado, Havana, Cuba, until 1961; Miami-Dade Community College, A.A., 1989. Politics: Republican. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, photography, needlepoint, reading, dancing, crossword puzzles, comic strips.

ADDRESSES:

Office—c/o Escritores Cubanos de Miami, P.O. Box 45-1732, Shenandoah Station, Miami, FL 33245-1732; fax: 305-856-9314. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Employed by Pittsburgh Plate Glass International, Havana, Cuba, 1959-60; Southeast Bank, Miami Springs, FL, corporate banking assistant, 1978-90; self-employed translator and writer, 1995—.

MEMBER:

Women's National Book Association, PEN Center for Writers in Exile, Writers Inc., Escritores Cubanos de Miami (founder, 1997), Alliance Française de Miami, Círculo de Cultura Panamericano, Miami-Dade Community College Alumni Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Photography prize, Writers' Journal.

WRITINGS:

La Cortina de bagazo (historical novel), Editorial Guarina (Miami, FL), 1995, translation published as The Sugar Cane Curtain, 2000.

Cartas son cartas (novel), Editorial Guarina (Miami, FL), 2001, translation published as Love Letters in the Sand, 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Ultramarino.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Meanderings/Divagaciones, a collection of short stories and essays; genealogical research on the Laje family, which originated in Spain.

SIDELIGHTS:

Zilia L. Laje told CA: "My primary motivation for writing is a pressing need to tell the story I have inside. Betty Smith, Kathleen Winsor, Herman Wouk, Rona Jaffe, and James Joyce have influenced my work. My writing process is to write a short draft with the plot and key dialogue, then research the background extensively and take hundreds of notes, which I incorporate, and finally rewrite the whole story. My writing is inspired by the trauma of migration and an ache that our way of life is disappearing. I want to leave a testimony of our customs. I enjoy using a lot of hidden symbolism that I'm sure goes undetected by the general reader."

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Laje, Zilia L. 1941-

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