The eldest in a family of 11 children, Santiago came to the States from Puerto Rico at the age of 13. After eight years of part-time study in community colleges, she transferred to Harvard where she graduated magna cum laude. Santiago’s bestselling 1993 memoir, "When I Was Puerto Rican," was named one of the “Best Memoirs of a Generation” by Oprah’s Book Club. Her second memoir, "Almost a Woman" was adapted for Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Her epic 2011 novel, "Conquistadora," set in 19th century Puerto Rico, was hailed as a “triumph” in The Washington Post.
The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC produced with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.
This conversation was recorded on November 8th, 2018 at the University at Albany Campus Center Ballroom.