Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction Poetry

Born: 1956 in Havana, Cuba



Illinois Connection

Obejas moved to Chicago in 1979 and lived there for many years.

Biographical and Professional Information

Achy Obejas is a Cuban-American writer, translator, and activist whose work focusing on personal and national identity has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Fifth Wednesday Journal, TriQuarterly, Another Chicago Magazine and many other publications. She is the author of various books, including the award-winning novel Days of Awe and the best-selling poetry chapbook This Is What Happened in Our Other Life.

The editor of Akashic’s critically acclaimed crime-fiction anthology Havana Noir, she is also the author of Ruins, and the translator (into Spanish) for Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Currently, she is a writer/editor for Netflix. Born in Havana, she continues to spend extended time there but currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- "Body of Work"

-- *Lambda Literary Award


-- "Ruins"

-- *Starred Review, Booklist


-- "The Tower of Antilles"

-- *Finalist, Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction

-- *Longlisted, PEN Open Book Award, 2018

-- *Longlisted, PEN Story Prize, 2018

-- *What to Read When You've Made it More Than Halfway Through 2017, Rumpus

-- *Rigoberto Gonzalez's Favorite Book Selection, 2017

-- *Electric Literature Best Short Story Collection Selection, 2017