Sandra Benitez biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Sandra Benitez.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Sandra Benitez

Sandra Benitez

Sandra Benitez Biography

Sandra Benitez has spent her life moving between the Latin American culture of her Puerto Rican mother and the Anglo-American culture of her father. She was born March 26, 1941 in Washington D.C.. A year later, her father, who worked for the U.S. State Department, was assigned to Mexico, and then El Salvador, where Sandra lived for most of the next 20 years.

When Benitez reached high school age, her parents sent Sandra to her paternal grandparents’ modest dairy farm in northeastern Missouri, returning each summer to El Salvador.

In 1980 she began to write fiction. It was not until 13 years later that her first book, A Place Where the Sea Remembers, set in Mexico, was published. She has since published three more novels.

Sandra’s work has earned her nearly two dozen honors, awards and grants, and she is much in demand as a teacher and speaker. In December, 2006, Benitez received one of the first United States Artists Awards, being named a USA Gund Fellow.

Benitez has lectured at colleges, high schools and professional organizations coast to coast. Benitez lives with her husband, Jim Kondrick, in Edina, Minnesota, and has completed her first non-fiction book Bag Lady: A Memoir, The Triumphant True Story of Loss, Illness and Recovery.

From the author's website

Link to Sandra's website

This biography was last updated on 09/22/2010.

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Interview

You were 52 when your first novel, A Place Where the Sea Remembers, was published. Have you been writing all your life, or did you come to it later?

I came to writing late. When I was 39, almost as a lark, I took a class in writing and all the stories that had impressed my heart began to bubble up. I was hooked and began to think of being a writer. I quit my job and began writing full time. It was an especially big risk because I was writing stories about "the other America," Latino stories that had not yet found a place in mainstream American literature. It took me 13 years to get my first book published.

You grew up between two cultures—Latin American and North American. How do you think this affects your writing?

I'm the daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a father from rural Missouri. I spent my first 15 years living outside the U.S.; then five more years moving back and forth between them; then finally moved to Missouri and Minnesota where I live now. As a result, I feel comfortable writing about either culture, and I think I benefit from understanding how the people in each culture think about the other.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Among those who have influenced my ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Sandra Benitez at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Weight of All Things
The Weight of All Things

by Sandra Benitez

A novel about war -- and the lunacy of it -- seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy. Set in El Salvador. "A strong and provocative novel"
Read More

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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Sandra Benitez but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Niccolò Ammaniti

    Niccolò Ammaniti

    Niccolò Ammaniti was born in Rome in 1966. He is the author of three novels, as well as a collection of short stories. At thirty-four, he was the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Viareggio-Repaci prize for I'm ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Weight of All Things

    Try:
    I'm Not Scared
    by Niccolò Ammaniti

  • Monique Charlesworth

    Monique Charlesworth

    Monique Charlesworth was born in Birkenhead, England, and has lived in France and Germany. She began writing fiction while living in Hong Kong and is the author of three previous novels. She has worked as a journalist and as ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Weight of All Things

    Try:
    The Children's War
    by Monique Charlesworth

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