In college, Ana Castillo's plan had been to teach art in high school, but she veered from that more conventional path to become a self-taught poet and then a self-taught everything else literary, now with two New York Times Notable Books of the Year to her credit. Today, she is called one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Chicana literature.
Pelaud had always been an outsider. Born in 1965 to a French father and a Vietnamese mother who didn't speak much French, she grew up in rural France feeling isolated, both geographically and culturally. She had trouble making friends and didn't do well in school. No one believed that she would amount to much.