Marcela Garcés is a Midland, Michigan native, born in 1981. She comes from a richly diverse background--half Colombian and half Scots-Irish. Garcés' unique heritage was broadened even further by her wonderful childhood. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood, she was immersed in a spectrum of different cultures, Lebanese, Scottish, Canadian, and ethnicities such as African-American and Asian. This environment promoted open mindedness in her at an early age. Garcés has always loved school. She attended public schools in Michigan, and continued her education at the University of Michigan to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Social Relations. Later, she chose to attend the University of Minnesota for her Master's degree in Hispanic Literature, and a Doctorate in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures with a PhD minor in Museum Studies. Her love of learning has transformed into a love a teaching. In addition to being an author, she now works as an Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Classics at Sienna College in Loudonville, New York. Garcés thinks back fondly to her childhood years, and credits her encouraging and inspirational teacher from the fifth grade for sparking her interest in writing. She most enjoys writing about identity in an effort to answer questions such as, "What makes us who we are?" and "What is our purpose?" It is noteworthy that her first story written in the fifth grade encompassed this theme and was entitled A Girl That Became an Ant. The theme of identity has stayed with her over the years. Her heritage is weaved into her words as she describes the challenges, as well as the pride, associated with being half Colombian. She challenges all of her readers to find the deeper meaning of identity and self-discovery in her writing so that they may apply the lessons to their own lives. The influence of her travels to Europe, Central and South America, Morocco, Canada and the United States are evident in the worldly perspective from which she writes. Garcés now writes creatively as a past time, but is highly involved in her academic writing as part of her profession. Her work is received well by the public, and is circulated among her academic peers throughout the country. She often uses her writing to teach and has read it to a class and a Multicultural Studies group on campus--all of which have benefitted from her lessons. When Garcés' busy life gives her a moment to relax, she enjoys traveling, cooking, watching movies, and reading books. Some of her favorite pieces of literature are Federico García Lorca's play La Casa de Bernarda Alba, Vuelva Usted Mañana, an essay by Mariano José de Larra, and Persepolis, a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi.
Label Me Latina/o Spring 2012 Volume II