Santiago, Eduardo 1967-
Santiago, Eduardo 1967-
PERSONAL: Born 1967, in Manzanillo, Cuba. Education: California Institute of the Arts, B.F.A.
CAREER: Writer and creative writing teacher. Writer for CBS2 News, Los Angeles, CA. Worked previously as an event organizer at independent bookstores.
AWARDS, HONORS: PEN Emerging Voices Rosenthal fellow, 2004.
Tomorrow They Will Kiss (novel), Back Bay Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including Advocate, Zyzzyva, Caribbean Writer, Slow Trains Literary Journal, Los Angeles Times, Square Peg Magazine, and Infected Faggot Perspectives.
SIDELIGHTS: Cuban-born writer Eduardo Santiago has had his work represented in literary magazines and newspapers, spoken on television, and taught in the classroom. Based in Los Angeles, California, he went to work for several television networks as a writer after graduating with a fine arts degree in film and television. In his twenties Santiago began exploring his Cuban roots in his writing, and went on to publish short stories in various publications. Santiago’s first novel, Tomorrow They Will Kiss, incorporates many elements of Cuban immigrant life, including the struggles faced after Fidel Castro’s revolution, the fascination with telenovelas (Spanish soap operas), and the cultural and language barriers that are exacerbated by poverty and class divisions. The novel is set in Union City, New Jersey, and follows several female Cuban American characters who work at a doll factory and struggle to make a life for themselves in their new home. Santiago felt a special kinship with his characters, he mentioned on the PEN Center USA Web site: “I set out to write something really dark and spiteful, but ended up with a very funny, and touching story. Even during countless rewrites I was repeatedly moved to tears and laughter. At a certain point the characters took over and told me what to write. I can’t imagine how else this could have happened.”
In an article for the Advocate, Regina Marler wrote: “Santiago’s characters are distinctly drawn and larger-than-life, their colors bright against the winter backdrop of Union City.” Marler went on to call the novel “a funny book about loss with a hard, satisfying kick at the end.”School Library Journal contributor Ellen Bell maintained that “teens will relate to the immigrant experience as it is portrayed” in the novel. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that “the detailed immigrant community is vital and entertaining.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Advocate, October 24, 2006, Regina Marler, “Doll Factory Divas:Tomorrow They Will Kiss,” p. 58.
Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2006, review of Tomorrow They Will Kiss, p. 34.
School Library Journal, September, 2006, Ellen Bell, review of Tomorrow They Will Kiss, p. 248.
Eduardo Santiago Home Page, http://www.eduardosantiago.com (December 28, 2006).
PEN Center USA, http://www.penusa.org/ (May 10, 2005).*