Elaine Castillo biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Elaine Castillo
Photo: Amaal Said

Elaine Castillo

Elaine Castillo Biography

Elaine Castillo was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. America Is Not the Heart is her first novel.



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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
America Is Not the Heart jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes 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.
How we choose readalikes

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is from Abba, in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka where she attended primary and secondary schools and briefly studied Medicine and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    America Is Not the Heart

    Try:
    Americanah
    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • Catherine Chung

    Catherine Chung

    Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, IL during a furious blizzard that dropped over 20 inches of snow on the ground and wreaked havoc all over Chicago. Writing has been her life-long passion, but as an undergraduate she ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    America Is Not the Heart

    Try:
    The Tenth Muse
    by Catherine Chung

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