Patricia Engel biography

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Patricia Engel
Photo: Elliot & Erick Jimenez

Patricia Engel

Patricia Engel Biography

Patricia Engel is the author of The Veins of the Ocean, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; It's Not Love, It's Just Paris, winner of the International Latino Book Award; and Vida, a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway and Young Lions Fiction Awards, New York Times Notable Book, and winner of Colombia's national book award, the Premio Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her stories appear in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. Born to Colombian parents, Patricia teaches creative writing at the University of Miami.

Patricia Engel's website

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Interview

A Conversation with Patricia Engel.

As a dual citizen of the United States and Colombia, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, and an award-winning author of the Latin America diaspora, you are intimately familiar with the in-betweenness of the lives you depict in Infinite Country. Did this sense of liminality affect your writing?

The idea of belonging or not belonging is so tied to the idea of country and borders. Very early in my life I was made to feel both excluded and embraced by the two countries and cultures that formed me, and there were others, still, who had no idea what to do with me. Many people feel an urge to define and to categorize in order to understand. I soon realized that who I am does not need to fit into neat boxes and that my essence extends far beyond the parameters of geography and language. This is what I'm always exploring in my work, and how transdiaspora can amplify ancestral connections while diminishing those imposed by one's dominant surroundings.

You sow the pages of Infinite Country with Andean myths, and they often appear as a point of comparison for dilemmas that the characters encounter in the real world. How did you first learn about the legends you reference in the novel, and do you have a favorite?

My family is full of ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Patricia Engel at BookBrowse
Infinite Country jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Patricia Engel 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

  • Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

    Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

    Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the author of Cenzontle, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. prize (BOA editions 2018), winner of the 2019 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award in poetry, a finalist for the Northern ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Infinite Country

    Try:
    Children of the Land
    by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

  • Masha Hamilton

    Masha Hamilton

    Masha Hamilton is a United States journalist and the author of five novels. She founded two world literacy projects and has worked as head of communications for the US Embassy in Afghanistan and the NGO Concern Worldwide US.

    ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Infinite Country

    Try:
    The Distance Between Us
    by Masha Hamilton

We recommend 4 similar authors

View all 4 Readalikes

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