Barbara de la Cuesta lived a number of years in South America, and has long been a teacher of English as a Second Language and Spanish. Out of this experience came her two prize winning novels, The Spanish Teacher, winner of the Gival Press Award in 2007, and Rosa, winner of the Driftless Novella Prize from Brain Mill Press in 2017. Fellowships in fiction from the Massachusetts Artists’ Foundation, and the New Jersey Council on the Arts, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, The Virginia Center, and the Millay Colony, have allowed her to complete these novels. She has also published two collections of poetry with Finishing Line Press, and her collection of short stories,The Place Where Judas Lost his Boots, has recently won The Brighthorse Prize for short fiction.
Rosa is a novel about an illegal home health aide who fled an abuser in Honduras. She is being interviewed about her life by ten year old Esmeralda for a school project. Esmeralda, who loves school tells Rosa some things she didn’t know, like why her village in Honduras felt like defeat. She holds a mirror up to Rosa’s life and Rosa begins to find her pride in its many victories.