A Cuban-American fiction writer and journalist, she is best known for her novel, Dreaming in Cuban, which focuses on three generations of a Cuban family. Her other works include The Aguero Sisters (1997) and Monkey Hunting (2003).
She studied political science and international relations at Barnard College and Johns Hopkins University. She later worked for Time Magazine as a researcher and reporter.
She was nominated for the National Book Award for her 1992 novel, Dreaming in Cuban.
She was born in Havana, Cuba to a Cuban mother and a Guatemalan father. She later settled in Los Angeles with her husband, Scott Brown.
She and Harry Mattison both worked for Time magazine.