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Roberto Carlos Ortiz

Roberto Carlos Ortiz grew up in Caguas, a large suburban town that borders with the south of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has spent most of his adult life in New Orleans. He has also lived in DC and San Francisco. Most of his family still lives in Puerto Rico. He grew up with his mother and her family. He gives the most credit to his grandparents for raising him. As a child he moved often but his grandparent's was home base. They provided most of the basic values that he has.

His childhood wasn't easygoing, but he has fond memories of growing up in his grandparent's house. That's where he lived with his grandmother until he left to attend graduate school in New Orleans. Roberto speaks Spanish even though he has ended up publishing most of his work in English. Spanish is his first language, but since he grew up in a US territory he has learned English since preschool. He has also taught basic college-level Spanish for many years. He has academic degrees in English as an undergraduate and Spanish as a graduate student. His research projects focus on the interpretation of images of national, racial or sexual difference and he works quite frequently in the area of film and gender studies. Roberto finds his inspiration from random places. He favors ambiguity and minimalist descriptions. Roberto likes Joyce Carole Oate's short novels and stories as well as the autobiographical novels of Abdellah Taia, a Moroccan writer. He also enjoys reading certain crime fiction; however, films influence him more than writers do. When he writes, he often feels: "This would work much better as images." 

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