Donna Miscolta is the author of three books of fiction: When the de la Cruz Family Danced, Hola and Goodbye: Una Familia in Stories, and Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories.
Donna’s newest book of fiction is Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories, published in 2020 by Jaded Ibis Press, a feminist press which makes a perfect match for Angie Rubio’s burgeoning awareness of her personhood in these stories. Each story represents an event or experience in a particular grade in school, a life lesson about winning and losing, belonging and not belonging, or about overcoming the divisions in life that can be caused by race, gender, or just a different way of walking through life. Whether the issue at hand relates to skin color, body image, sexual awakening, or some other aspect of peer and social pressure or the mere act of growing up, the stories cohere to tell a story of Angie’s struggle to find out who she is and her place in the world.
Writer Sharma Shields’s lovely praise of the book also provides a peek at its protagonist and storyline.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve fallen in love with a character as deeply as I fell for Living Color’s Angie Rubio. Donna Miscolta writes gorgeous, luminous sentences, at turns funny and heartbreaking, searing and wise, and—through the observations of one smart, shy, awesome young girl—she deftly exposes the casual and systemic racism of the 1960s and 70s. This is fiction at its very best: intimate, universal, historical, and relevant as hell to our current era. Angie Rubio is my new favorite protagonist; prepare for her to steal your heart.”
Donna’s second book, the story collection Hola and Goodbye: Una Familia in Stories, was published by Carolina Wren Press (now Blair) in 2016 as a result of winning the Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman, judged that year by Randall Kenan. The book won an Independent Publishers award for Best Regional Fiction and an International Latino Book Award for Best Latino Focused Fiction.
Hola and Goodbye has three parts and begins with four women− immigrants from Mexico − each of whom has her own self-titled story of adjustment or assimilation, including Lupita Camacho and her best friend Rosa. The second set of stories focuses on Lupita’s grown children and their never quite realized dreams. The third set of stories belongs to Lupita’s grandchildren, each struggling in some way for a sense of self.
Lysley Tenorio said “Miscolta writes with the precision demanded of the short story, but with the range, scope, and generosity we crave in the novel, and what results is an unforgettable reading experience.”
Donna’s first book, the novel When the de la Cruz Family Danced was published in 2011 by Signal 8 Press, a Hong Kong-based, independent publisher, as a result of the editor reading an excerpt from the manuscript in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Both Cha and Signal 8 focus on writing that reflects the Asian and Asian American experience.
When the de la Cruz Family Danced is set in Southern California but has as its protagonist an immigrant from the Philippines. The novel explores the ties within family and how circumstances of birth, immigration, and assimilation tug at those ties.
Antonya Nelson said, “Miscolta is a pitch-perfect prose stylist and a passionately empathetic creator: she savors sentence-making and attends to the all-important nuanced moments between people.”
Rick Barot said, “Miscolta’s novel is intricate, tender, and elegantly written – a necessary novel for our times.
Cristina Garcia said, “This is a complex story of immigration and loss that packs an emotional punch.”
Donna was born in San Diego and grew up in National City, California. She received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from San Diego State and later received master’s degrees in education and public administration from the University of Washington. During the thirty years that she worked as a project manager in local government, she took classes and workshops in fiction writing. She lives in Seattle.