Gisela Norat was born in Havana, Cuba but moved to Union City, New Jersey where she grew up with her only sibling. Although she ended up in Union City, New Jersey, it was not an easy trip. When she, her mom and her sister were able to leave communist Cuba in 1965, they came to Manhattan by way of Spain in 1968. Her father had already been living in the United States for several years. At that time, her father had worked in the garment industry. After they were all reunited, Gisela Norat's father wanted to raise his two daughters in a Spanish-speaking country. The plan was to move the family to Puerto Rico, but when her dad gave his boss notice, "his boss did not want to lose his most valued employee." Therefore, he offered him equal partnership in the textile wholesale business in Manhattan. Her father took his boss up on the offer and they bought property in Union City, New Jersey where they started a retail fabric store. Her parents were very hard working immigrant parents who first came to the United States of America and ended up working in New York factories. While her father worked with his partner in the wholesale side of the business, her mother had the task of minding the store. The family even lived above the store. Gisela Norat grew up and attended college receiving her B.S., B.A., a Masters degree and a Ph.D. Each degree she received from a different college. Gisela Norat got her B.S. from St. Peter's College in New Jersey. Then she got her B.A from a New Jersey university called Montclair State University. She went on to get her M.A from NYU and her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Currently, Norat writes mainly academically because of her life as a full-time college professor at Agnes Scott College teaching all levels of Spanish as well as courses in the Women's Studies Program and a course on Costa Rica. She enjoys writing scholarly articles that focus on the writings of Latina and Latin American women authors. Her inspiration for her non-scholarly writings is her American-born daughter. Norat has even written a manuscript describing her childhood in Cuba and growing up Latina in the United States of America. Her experience growing up was very different than that of her daughter growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, Gisela Norat lives in Decatur, Georgia.