An American by birth, Cathleen Miller has traveled around the globe to write her books telling the stories of people and places. She has interviewed diplomats and heads of state on five continents, patients in an Addis Ababa hospital, rape camp survivors in Kosovo, and midwives in the mountains of East Timor. Her work sometimes places her in strange circumstances, for example cruising St. Petersburg in a Winnebago to interview prostitutes, and running down a Brazilian mountain at midnight fleeing bandits. Cathy’s biography of Nafis Sadik, Champion of Choice, is the result of ten years of work and many, many strange circumstances.
Cathy’s previous work includes the international bestseller Desert Flower, which has been translated into 55 languages and adapted as a feature film shown around the globe. In both Desert Flower and Champion of Choice, Cathy utilizes storytelling as a rhetorical device to demonstrate how the issues which affect one individual are representative of a larger world order. The personal is political.
Cathy is also the author of a memoir about her life in rural Pennsylvania, The Birdhouse Chronicles, a book first written as her master’s thesis while she attended Penn State’s MFA program in creative writing. Birdhouse received a Pushcart Prize nomination.
A winner of the Society of American Travel Writers gold award, Cathy’s travel essays have appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times.
Cathleen Miller teaches creative writing at San José State University where she is an associate professor. She’s an accomplished public speaker who has performed at numerous venues, including Cinequest, LitQuake, the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the Women, Peace and Conflict Lecture and Film Series, and the American Women’s Association of Rome; she’s also featured in a Ted Talk on a topic dear to her heart: “How to Raise Your Daughter to Become a World Leader.”
Currently Cathy’s at work on a new book reporting the hapless adventures of a Brazilian political dissident—a nonfiction narrative which reads like the script of an Indiana Jones sequel…yet it’s all the more amazing for being a true story.