A very different college experience
Pilar’s college experience was everything a mother could hope for their child. For García, whose own experience was vastly different, it was all the more meaningful.
Born in Cuba, García and her parents were among the first wave of people to flee the country following Fidel Castro’s ascent to power. She worked hard throughout her school years and got into Barnard College. Unlike her daughter, García didn’t get to experience the full wonder of college life. “I was living at home and commuting to college. I was working in my parents’ restaurant more than I was at Barnard,” she says.
García then went on to John Hopkins University for her master’s degree and, from there, made a name for herself in journalism. In 1983, she started at Time Magazine as a reporter. Two years later, she became the magazine’s San Francisco correspondent. By 1987, she was its bureau chief in Miami for Florida and the Caribbean region.
Working for Time Magazine would be a dream job for most aspiring journalists...but not for García. In 1990, she left the magazine to pursue her true passion: writing fiction. Since then, she’s published seven novels, including her first novel, Dreaming in Cuban, which became a National Book Award finalist.
Pilar inherited her mother’s love for literature: she currently works for a publisher in New York editing fiction and non-fiction books.
“I know that Brown was absolutely instrumental in setting her up to think critically and be the superb editor that she is,” García says.
Meeting Brown’s champion for Latinx students
For many Latinx students like Pilar, the dream of a Brown education was made possible by the tireless work of one woman: Mercedes Domenech. As part of Brown’s Office of Admission, Domenech spent decades improving Latinx representation in Brown’s student body. During her daughter’s time at Brown, García became close with Domenech, often meeting with her once a semester to talk for hours about books, music, and everything in between.
“Not only did she invite this incredible diversity of talent — cultural, scientific, and academic — but she also nurtured that talent going through. She sustained them, heart and soul, as they acclimated to life at Brown,” García says.