Professor De Robertis Searched Uruguay for Signs of Queer Life and Found a Novel

Monday, October 14, 2019
Photo of Carolina De Robertis and an image of Cantoras book cover
Book cover courtesy of Penguin/Random House. Photo of Carolina De Robertis by Pamela Denise Harris.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Carolina De Robertis was in Uruguay, searching for answers. It was 2001, and she had traveled alone to her parents’ home country, looking for signs of queer life.

“I was in my mid-20s, and I was in the process of basically being disowned by my parents, who had decided not to support who I was, a queer person,” the Oakland author and San Francisco State University professor recalls. Her parents had told her “that I could no longer be Uruguyan because I was gay, because it didn’t exist in their culture, and could therefore no longer be my culture.”

She was there to find out the truth and in the process came upon the seeds of her latest novel, “Cantoras.”