The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Photograph of Cristina García

Cristina García

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Faculty 2020

About Cristina García

Cristina García is the author of seven novels: Here in Berlin; King of Cuba; The Lady Matador’s Hotel; A Handbook to Luck; Monkey Hunting; The Agüero Sisters, winner of the Janet Heidiger Kafka Prize; and Dreaming in Cuban, finalist for the National Book Award. García has edited two anthologies, Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature and Cubaní simo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature. She is also the author of three works for young readers, Dreams of Significant Girls; The Dog Who Loved the Moon; and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox. A collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, was published in 2010.

Find Conference Sessions with Cristina García

Exile and the Literary Imagination
Cristina García

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Location: Heritage, University Club
Type: Craft Talk, Talk
Genre: Human Rights, Mixed Genre

This talk is about the dislocations of exile(s) and immigration, the fresh eyes on culture it produces, and how it informs and, ultimately, changes both exiles and culture.

Hey, I Know You! Building Strong Characters
Michael A Stackpole, Tracey Baptiste, HelenKay Dimon, Cristina García, Jonathan Danielson

Friday, February 21, 2020, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Location: Carson Ballroom, Old Main
Type: Panel
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Mixed Genre

We’ve all heard the advice, Know your character better than yourself. How do we build characters who are strong or fragile, bold or shy, fully round, fully complex, and well-developed instead of flat, two-dimensional representations? How do we use our imaginations to the fullest in creating relatable, strange, interesting, and compelling characters? In this panel, writers representing a range of speculative fiction will share tips and tricks for creating and building characters we all want to know, read, and have a conversation with.

Cultivating Chaos
Cristina García

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Advanced Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Creative Practice, Mixed Genre, Writing Process

How can we encourage our work to unspool in unpredictable, organic ways? To welcome what surprises and disturbs us? To harness wildness without domesticating its energies? To embrace what we only dimly perceive? In Cultivating Chaos, we'll discuss strategies for coaxing the strange, ineluctable, jagged-edged power of the wonderfully, dangerously unexpected into making a lasting, vivid difference in our writing.

More About Cristina García

---. "Prologue.Here in Berlin. 2017.

Lilacs were blooming in Cracauerplatz. The Visitor felt disoriented and alone, an outsider, lost without a map. Her atrophied German stuck in her throat. Thirty-one years had elapsed between her last stay in Germany (for an ill-fated job in Frankfurt) and her return to Berlin in late middle age. The city struck her as post-apocalyptic—flat and featureless except for its rivers, its lakes, its legions of bicyclists. She found herself nameless: nameless in crowds, nameless alone. Another disappearance in a city with a long history of disappearance acts.

Rivera, Lilliam. "The Rumpus Interview With Cristina García." The Rumpus  

I think that’s the nature of immigration, dislocation, exile. I always thought of this title of this book by Cuban writer Gustavo Pérez, Life on the Hyphen. You can hang on one end of the hyphen or the other, you can walk and talk and do it, but your sense of belonging is more tangible. That you’re not really ever at home, completely accepting, in this in-between state. I think that’s probably truer for my parents in a way. I grew up in New York. I feel I belong here but I also think it’s given me a privileged position because I’ve been downwind of this dislocation craziness my whole life. It’s a privileged position from which to tell stories about identity and belonging or lack thereof.


Doyle, Chris. "Here in Berlin By Cristina García." Chicago Review of Books, October 27, 2017.

The stories that comprise Here in Berlin are beautifully related with a perfectly pitched sense of melancholy and pathos, bound into a delicate yet powerful whole by The Visitor’s own struggles to preserve and renew her sense of self while forming a new perspective to live by. As Kaspar, an amnesiac photojournalist, explains to The Visitor, “Our last redoubt in the world is wonder. Wonder and unknowing.”