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Elaine Castillo biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Elaine Castillo
Photo: Amaal Said

Elaine Castillo

How to pronounce Elaine Castillo: cast-ILL-yo

Elaine Castillo Biography

Elaine Castillo, named one of "30 of the Planet's Most Exciting Young People" by the Financial Times, was born and raised in the Bay Area. Her debut novel, America Is Not the Heart, was a finalist for numerous prizes including the Elle Big Book Award, the Center for Fiction Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize and was named a best book of 2018 by NPR, Real Simple, Lit Hub, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post, Kirkus Reviews, and the New York Public Library.



This bio was last updated on 07/08/2022. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

Q&A with Elaine Castillo about her debut novel, America is Not the Heart.

This novel is a beautiful example of how the personal is political, and that for many, politics can't be unraveled from intimate, everyday life. Did you set out to write a political book, or is it the nature of the narrative?

Yeah, I'm one of those cats that believes all art is political, even (or especially) the art that insists on political neutrality or claims to transcend politics altogether. I've written a book that's in part about a former New People's Army rebel, a book about people who've survived the Marcos dictatorship, about queer immigrant women, so it's relatively easy to point and say: Such and such things are the political aspects of the book. But I don't really subscribe to that idea. The book is in part a portrait of a former Communist insurgent, and as such there are things in the book that fall in line with that genre we call political art: social history, reflections on power, discussion of geopolitical landscapes. But what I'm even more interested in is the textured, daily minutia of the years she lives out in the book's present as an exile in America. The things Hero experiences as a newcomer to the Bay Area—taking a cousin to school, cleaning a house, working at a restaurant, falling in love—...

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Books by this Author

Books by Elaine Castillo at BookBrowse
How to Read Now jacket America Is Not the Heart jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Elaine Castillo 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.
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