Alina Lapuerta

Born in Havana and raised in the United States, Alina Garcia-Lapuerta spent years researching her first biography, tracing the Comtesse Merlin’s footsteps from her native Cuba to Spain and France. A magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University and a former Harris Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, she worked in international banking. Her background in Latin American and European history, economics and politics informed her research into La Belle Creole’s world. She is also a member of Biographers International Organization (BIO) and now writes from London, where she lives with her Spanish husband and two children.

La Belle Creole – the first English language biography of Cuban-born aristocrat Mercedes de Santa Cruz y Montalvo, also known as the Comtesse Merlin, who was years ahead of her time as a writer, a socialite in the salons of Paris and survived dangerous political turmoil in Spain during the Peninsular War. Through her writing she became the first woman to intervene prominently in the Cuban slavery debate. (Spring 2014, Chicago Review Press).