Elizabeth Garriga

Nov 22, 11 Elizabeth Garriga

City you live in:
Brooklyn, NY.

Occupation and why?
Book publicist. I fell in love with reading at a very young age, and it’s a love that has stayed with me. I wanted to be able to share my favorite books with people everywhere and to get people talking about them.

A regular day consists of?
Lots of meetings, emails, and phone calls with authors, editors, literary agents, TV and radio producers, journalists, bookstore reps and everyone else who loves books.

How do you define success?
I think success is in large part having options and flexibility in your life. I also think it’s the ability to lift someone else up to where you are. Success is not a solitary position.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Trying to fit my daily to-do list into any given day.

What advice would you give a Latina who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Read and write incessantly, aim for the best college you can, and then do as many publishing related internships as possible. I also recommend the Columbia Publishing Course. I did the course when I first moved to NY and it helped me land my first job here. There are only a handful of us Latinos in publishing, and I would really love to see more!

What’s on your bucket list?
Travel and more travel! There are still so many countries I want to see. Also high on my list is living by the ocean one day.

I am proud to be Latina because:
We have such a rich cultural heritage with a wonderful mix of European, African and native influences—it’s like a beautiful mosaic. I love our passion for life—and expressing ourselves in art, music, dancing, cooking, and just about everything else.

How do you get your Latin fix?
With my mom’s cooking—no restaurant can beat her Puerto Rican style arroz con gandules, pernil and tostones. Listening to La India, Celia Cruz, Juan Luis Guerra, and Carlos Vives also helps.

Spanglish, English, Spanish?
All three. I have been known for talking quite a bit of Spanglish, but I tend to live in English mostly, and dream in Spanish.

What is your favorite Latin restaurant?
Guantanamera. It’s a Cuban restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s got the most fantastic mojitos and live Latin jazz.

My favorite Latina stereotype is:
Family comes first. I keep a book at work called Making Home in Havana with a quote highlighted, “Without my family, I am nothing.” It helps me to keep things in perspective.

Best advice from mami and/or abuelita:
It’s actually from my very wise papi who often ends our phone calls with “Cógelo suave, perocógelo.” I always remind myself of this when things get hectic—take it easy, but take it! You just have to keep moving forward. My lovely mother also says—“corretupropiacarrera”…run your own race. Always be true to yourself and don’t get caught up in following the crowd.

Favorite home remedy:
Boil water with ginger, cloves, cinnamon and honey and drink before bed when you’re fighting a cold. Also, Vicks vapor rub works wonders.

Favorite Quote
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.” No truer words to live by.

Career Highlights
Publicizing NY Times bestseller Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ memoir, Five Chiefs.Getting a personal tour of the Supreme Court was a big highlight!

[fun]♦ I have a huge family by any standard! I have 8 brothers and sisters and they are all so unique and beautiful. We call ourselves “la tropa” and we are fiercely protective of each other. They truly inspire me.

[career]♦ Elizabeth Garriga has over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry at prestigious houses including Little, Brown and Company, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and W.W. Norton.

♦ She has worked with a diverse list of authors including Rick Moody, William Least-Heat Moon, Sir Harold Evans, Katie Crouch and Luis Alberto Urrea.

♦ She has worked on bestselling books like Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff, Five Chiefs by Justice John Paul Stevens, Cold by Bill Streever and The Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo. Currently, she is working on the book tour for Luis Alberto Urrea’s new novel, Queen of America.
[description]“Be not the slave of your own past.”[/description]

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