The literary world lost a great one. Cecile Pineda, an acclaimed Latina author, died on August 11th at the age of 89. The news was shared by her sons, Michael and David Leneman. However, they did not state a cause of death.
Pineda was an inspirational Latina author, who came onto the scene with an award-winning book named “Face” in 1985.
She grew up in New York and is of Swiss and Mexican heritage. Her father emigrated to the United States in 1910 as an undocumented immigrant. He studied at the University of Harvard and became a respected linguist and philologist. It was his education and passion that opened the door for the world of literature to Cecile Pineda.
Not much is known of Pineda’s parents before their move to the United States. According to her, her father was extremely private. “I never knew from whom or where I came,” said Pineda.
The mystery plays true in her work; a lot of Pineda‘s characters deal with conflicts of identity.
Pineda had a thirst for knowledge and was interested in everything. She loved talking about literature but considered herself to be the type of person who could engage in various topics ranging from politics and insects to history.
Pineda’s Legacy Will Live On in Her Books
Her first book “Face” was based on an article she read about a man who reconstructed his face after an accident. In her version of the story, the character, Helio Cara, was a Brazilian immigrant, who, while rushing to visit his dying mother, slips and disfigures his face. A struggling barber, Helio wears a rubber mask until he eventually uses his own skills to recreate his face.
Pineda’s other novels include “Frieze” and “The Love Queen of the Amazon.”
They were released in 1986 and 1992, respectively.
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