Natalia Sylvester



At their core, my novels are stories about the lives torn apart by political systems that are abused or broken. My family left my birthplace of Lima, Peru during a time of violence and turmoil; the political has always been, and continues to be, deeply personal. I find myself constantly exploring what is lost and what is gained when we migrate. What does home mean, what does belonging mean, and how do we exist within spaces marked by invisible yet deeply felt borders? During readings, panels, workshops, and performances, I explore fact-based fiction, family history, immigration and the links between trauma, violence, memory and grief, and the importance of amplifying the voices of marginalized people—all from an intersectional feminist perspective. I'm especially interested in new approaches to the craft of writing that question and examine the privileged perspectives that have shaped it. As someone who founded and runs her own marketing company, I am also available to speak about the intersections between being a business person and an artist.

Sylvester memorably depicts the precarious existence and difficult choices that face undocumented immigrants to America. —Publishers Weekly

Everyone Knows You Go Home is a timely, necessary book that challenges its readers by asking: How much empathy can we offer to those whose stories the world has silenced? —The Rumpus

A forceful record of migration within a family and the dangers and triumphs of our undocumented population. —Kirkus Reviews

A beautifully written story that illuminates the complex allegiances of family and the costs of denying the past for the exigencies of the present. With great warmth, humor, and wisdom, Natalia Sylvester brings the border to vivid life in this timeless journey deep inside the human heart. —Cristina García, author of Here in Berlin and Dreaming in Cuban

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novels Chasing the Sun, which was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad, and Everyone Knows You Go Home, which was named a Best Book of 2018 by Real Simple. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Miami and is a faculty member of the low-res MFA program at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Natalia’s articles have appeared in Latina Magazine, Writer’s Digest, The Austin American-Statesman, and Born in Lima, Peru, she came to the U.S. at age four and spent time in South and Central Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas before her family set roots in Miami. She now lives and works in Austin.

Titles by Natalia Sylvester