Isidra Mencos
Most Recent Book Title
Promenade of Desire—A Barcelona Memoir
Book Description
My story narrates the journey of a young woman from repression to liberation, and it mirrors Spain’s journey from dictatorship to democracy in the 70s and 80s. The protagonist wants more than anything to find love, pleasure and intimacy, but her upbringing under a strong matriarch, a strict Catholic education, and a repressive dictatorship and macho culture gets in the way.

As she comes of age, Spain transitions to democracy. All of a sudden the country goes from forbidding kissing in public to an explosion of boobs in every magazine, and from repressing diversity in politics and languages to multiple political parties and the rising of repressed voices. The youth experiments with free love, drugs, booze and living outside the norms, while becoming disappointed with the denial of the crimes of the past from the new political forces. The protagonist thrusts herself into lovers, and salsa dancing. Salsa becomes the place where she can live her sensuality without guilt, but she's still terrified of intimacy and has internalized the repression of her own voice.

It’s only when she dares to forge her own path, moving to the US in her early 30s, that she’s finally able to express her whole self, without shame or fear, and connect authentically with others.
Additional Book Titles
Mercè Rodoreda: An Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 2004.

Mercè Rodoreda: Una bibliografia critica, Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Barcelona, 2002. (Premi Mercè Rodoreda)

Juego de voces, Ediciones Navegante, TX, 1997.
Location (city/state/country)
Pleasant Hill, CA, USA
Author bio
I’m a published author, currently working on my memoir "The conquest of pleasure," as well as in a collection of personal essays about the many selves we leave behind entitled "Mandala Way."

I also help other people tell their own life stories as a ghostwriter, editor and writing coach though my business Vida Now, which I launched in 2017.

I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. I came to the US in 1992 to study a PhD in Spanish and Latin American Contemporary Literature at UC Berkeley. I also taught at UC Berkeley for 12 years, first as a Graduate Student Instructor and then as a Lecturer. My classes included Spanish language, literature, culture, and creative writing. I won two teaching awards.

Parallel to teaching I developed a business as a freelance writer and editor for Spanish-speaking media in the US. I had multi-year collaborations with Time Inc. and Sunset among other companies, and I wrote hundreds of articles for multiple times Emmy-award winner Jorge Ramos, recognized by Time magazine as one of 25 most important US Hispanics.

I quit freelancing in 2006 to launch a successful 10-year corporate career as Executive Editor and Editorial Director of the Americas at BabyCenter, the leading digital global resource for parents. I managed teams in the US, Canada and Latin America, and helped them gain or maintain leadership in their markets through top quality content and digital products.

I’ve had a varied, winding career, but the common denominator has always been a focus on words and stories. That’s because I passionately believe in the power of story to help us bring meaning to the world and live a better life.

I live in Northern California with my husband, teenage son and our rescue dog, Commodore.
Favorite Quote or Personal Motto

"The artist is nothing without the talent, but the talent is nothing without the work." Zola

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