Pineda was born in New York City, later migrating to California where she has lived in the San Francisco-Bay Area ever since. Face, her debut novel, won the Gold Medal from the Commonwealth Club of California; the Sue Kaufman Prize; the American Book Award nomination for first fiction: and was nominated Pineda's representative work for the 2014 Neustadt Prize for International Literature. The Love Queen of the Amazon, written with the assistance of a National Endowment Fiction Fellowship was named Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times. Other work includes Frieze, set in 9th century India and Java, her unreliable memoir, Fishlight: A Dream of Childhood, and two mononovels, Bardo99 and Redoubt, a meditation on gender. Her works are available from Wings Press or at local bookstores or e-bookstores. (Note: because Amazon is currently de-listing ebooks of some independent publishers, ebooks can be ordered from barnesandnoble.com, the iTunes store, or from independent booksellers. A free app is available for Kindles to read ebooks in other formats.)
The nuclear cycle has been a persistent theme in Pineda’s fiction writing from the start. But writing Devil’s Tango came as an unforeseen surprise, in response to an invitation extended by a dying friend:
“Now,” he says to me, “now you, Ceil, you always have things to say about life on the planet; you need to write a book, The Book of Life and Death. Will you do that?”
Thirteen days after his death, Fukushima exploded, scattering its deadly fallout over the entire planet, and Devil’s Tango was born.
Cecile Pineda speaks about Fukushima at S.F. Occupy Forum, November, 5, 2012
Cecile Pineda reads and talks about FACE at the Open Books series at San Francisco Public Library, February 12, 2014:
Prior to her career as a novelist, Pineda founded and directed Theatre
of Man, her own experimental ensemble theater company dedicated
to the development of original performance works.
She has taught fiction writing since 1987 in San Diego, and currently
in the San Francisco-Bay Area.