Achy Obejas

writer & translator


Achy Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novels RuinsDays of
Awe, and three other books of fiction. Her poetry chapbook, This is What Happened
in Our Other Life, was both a critical favorite and a best-seller. She edited and
translated, into English, Havana Noir, a collection of crime stories by Cuban
writers on and off the island. Her translation, into Spanish, of Junot Díaz’s The
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao / La Breve y Maravillosa Vida de Óscar Wao was a
finalist for Spain’s Esther Benítez Translation Prize from the national translator’s
association. Her most recent translation, Papi by Rita Indiana, is forthcoming in
2016. In 2014, she was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship for her writing and
translation. She is a founding member of the Creative Writing faculty at the
University of Chicago, a member of the Editorial Board of In These Times and the
editorial advisory board of the Great Books Foundation, and currently serves as
the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., where she
lives with her wife, Megan Bayles, and their son Ilan. In summer 2016, Mills will
debut its low-residency MFA in translation, a program conceived by Achy, which
she will co-direct. For more information, go to or

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