I grew up in Kalispell, Montana and spent my early years water skiing at Flathead Lake and hiking around Glacier Park. Colorado College is my alma mater, and after college in the Sixties it was off to Berlin, Germany for four years, where I spent my time organizing G.I.s to oppose the Vietnam War, as well as checking out East Germany and traveling around Europe. After this fascinating experience in which I was introduced to radical politics for the first time, I moved back to America and worked in auto factories and a copper refinery in New Jersey, trying to coax workers in a revolutionary direction. Much of the background material for my novel derives from these years.
I moved to Denver as a single mom and worked at Samsonite for three years making suitcases. But I always had a yearning to be a teacher, so I moved again—to Los Angeles, where I still live—to teach English as a Second Language.
I taught for 17 years and then became a school librarian. When the buildup to the Iraq War started, I helped organize a peace and justice group to try and stop the war. We didn’t succeed.
Over the years, I’d taken many workshops in creative writing, so after my retirement a few years ago, I began to write fiction. I wrote a few short stories, participated in as many writing critique groups as I could track down, and read like crazy. During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November of 2008, I wrote the first draft of my novel. Now three and a half years later, it's finally published. Dancing with Mao and Miguel is unrecognizable from that first draft.
Will I write another novel? I don’t know. I have so many interests like activism, piano, photography, languages, Nonviolent Communication, travel. And life is short. However, writing is such fun that I don’t know if I can stay away from it.
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Dancing with Mao and Miguel
by Kitty Kroger
Dancing with Mao and Miguel is a riveting love story set against the backdrop of radical politics in the 1970s. Jenny, an organizer in a refinery in New Jersey, falls in love with a Dominican immigrant. As she’s drawn ever closer to him, she struggles with intense political doubts, longtime fears of intimacy and sex, and personal betrayal on the way to discovering her own path.
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