Born in Philadelphia, Deena Stryker studied for the Baccalaureat in Paris, then became a French citizen by marriage. She was a journalist at Agence France Presse in Rome, then wrote The Two Hundred Days of ‘81/2’ , which follows Federico Fellini’s creative process from the privileged observation post of a press officer on a set closed to journalists, and provides the narrative thread for Criterion’s DVD of the film.
With the proceeds of her book on Fellini, in 1963 Deena Stryker (then Deena Boyer), traveled to Cuba on her French passport as a free lance journalist, and did the first Western interview with Fidel Castro after the Cuban Missile Crisis, for the French weekly Paris Match. Subsequently she was invited back by the Cuban government to do a book. She met with Castro a week after the Kennedy assassination, and several times in 1964, as she allowed the other major figures of the government (including Che Guevara, Raul Castro and Celia Sanchez), to tell in their own words why they had made the revolution.
After spending time in Eastern Europe, Deena Stryker did graduate work in Global Survival and taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, before becoming a speech writer for Joe Duffey in the Carter State Department. Her first article on U.S.-Soviet relations was published in the department's in-house journal in 1976.
Stryker returned to France in the eighties, doing free lance translating for the French Foreign Ministry, the Elysee, and the European Union, and publishing articles in Le Monde, Latitudes and Géopolitique, as well as a plan for the reunification of Europe, Une autre Europe, un autre Monde , published with a grant from the Centre du Livre , and which foresaw the breakup of the Soviet Union as well as Turkey’s current turn toward the Muslim world.
Deena Stryker returned to the U.S. in 2000. Her book When the Revolution Was Young, was published in 2004, by Beaufort Publishing Group. It was published in the original Italian by Zambon in 2010 under the title Giovane Cuba, and as an e-book by Girlebooks under the title Cuba 1964: When the Revolution was Young.
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