Cecile Pineda was born in Harlem, the daughter of a scholarly Mexican father, and a Swiss-French mother. Her language of origin is French.
After some twelve years of producing and directing her own experimental theater company, Pineda began to write fiction. Her novels have been critically acclaimed, with Face winning the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal—a record for first fiction, the Sue Kaufman Prize, and a National Book Award Nomination. Her picaresque novel, The Love Queen of the Amazon, written with a NEA Fiction Fellowship was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times. Other novels include Frieze, set in 9th century India and Java; Fishlight, a fictional memoir of childhood, and two mononovels, Bardo99 in which the 20th century passes through a bardo state; and Redoubt, a meditation on gender. Her play, Like Snow Melting in Water, set in contemporary agrarian Japan, centers on themes of displacement and ecological collapse. It will see productions in India and Thailand in 2012. All her work is published and available from Wings Press, San Antonio, Texas.
Pineda has been an anti-war activist from early life. More than ever, she has turned her attention to issues affecting the sustainability of the planet. Devil’s Tango: How I learned the Fukushima Step by Step is Pineda’s anguished dissection of the nuclear industry seen through the lens of the industrial and planetary disaster now unfolding at Fukushima Daiichi. A crazy quilt of multiple voices, pieced together day-by-day, it reflects her attempt to come to terms with Fukushima’s catastrophic consequences to the planet.
Visit her website at cecilepineda.com