Liza Monroy is a creative nonfiction writer, novelist, freelance journalist, and writing instructor. Originally from Seattle, she grew up in Rome and Mexico City and currently divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and Santa Cruz, CA. Elle magazine writes that Liza’s debut novel, Mexican High (Spiegel & Grau), which is loosely based on her experience going to high school in Mexico, “marvelously captures Mexico City, from the perpetual smog that obscures the stars to the frenetic pace in the touristy downtown Zona Rosa.” Her second book, The Marriage Act: The Risk I Took to Keep my Best Friend in America…And What it Taught Us About Love is forthcoming from Counterpoint/Soft Skull in Winter 2014.
Liza has written for numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including twice for The New York Times’ Modern Love column (her first essay, “Elvis and my Husband Have Left the Building” was anthologized in The Best of Modern Love and forms the basis for The Marriage Act), The New York Times Magazine, the L.A. Times, Newsweek, Salon, Women’s Health, Everyday With Rachael
Ray, The Village Voice, Psychology Today, Jane, Poets & Writers, Self, Bust, Publishers’ Weekly, The Huffington Post and others. In November 2009, her profile of Jonathan Lethem, “The Heart is Pleasure in Writing,” was the cover story of Poets & Writers magazine. A two time guest on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, Liza first discussed her novel and was invited back to talk about her essay, “My First Husband,” which appeared in Rebecca Walker’s anthology One Big Happy Family (Riverhead). She has also been profiled in numerous online and print venues, including The Wall Street Journal, Bookslut, Mediabistro, The Brooklyn Paper, HTMLGIANT, IHeartDaily, and The Urban Muse. A frequent lecturer on writing, Liza has
appeared as a guest speaker twice at Emerson College, where she majored in film and creative writing as an undergraduate, on panels hosted by Mediabistro, at California State Los Angeles, and on New York’s eclectic reading series circuit, including KGB, the Franklin Park Reading Series, Freerange Nonfiction, Earshot, and at BookCourt. In 2009, she was the featured opening night presenter at New York City’s Celebrate Mexico Now festival. She was awarded a residency by the Kerouac Project of Orlando to live and write for three months in the house where Jack Kerouac resided with his mother when On the Road was published. She
went on to earn her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University, where she curated and hosted a reading series and taught in the Undergraduate Writing Program. She also teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension and Mediabistro. In her spare time she and her dog, a Delta Society pet therapy volunteer, visit nursing home residents. The daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service officer mother, Liza grew up abroad, primarily in Italy and Mexico, and has lived and studied in the Czech Republic, and Holland. Besides reading, writing, and teaching, she enjoys travel, cooking, the outdoors, capoeira, and pugs. In October 2012, Liza was the first John E. Nance Writer-in-Residence at the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. In December 2012, she held a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.