Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Author of MONA AT SEA

(Santa Fe Writer’s Project, July 2021)

Before becoming a writer Elizabeth was a waitress, a pollster, an Avon lady, and an opera singer. Her short story, Cosmic Blues, was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s 2016 Short Story Award for New Writers. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Idaho Review, Ploughshares Blog, The Rumpus, and elsewhere, and have received numerous Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Her debut novel, MONA AT SEA, was a finalist in the 2019 SFWP Literary Awards judged by Carmen Maria Machado, and is forthcoming, Summer 2021, from Santa Fe Writers Project. Originally from South Texas, Elizabeth now lives with her family in Oakland, California.





Read Elizabeth’s Debutante Ball Posts


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MONA AT SEA – Finalist in the 2019 SFWP Literary Awards judged by Carmen Maria Machado, and forthcoming, Santa Fe Writers Project

In this sharp, witty debut, Elizabeth Gonzalez James introduces us to Mona Mireles—observant to a fault, unflinching in her opinions, and uncompromisingly confident in her professional abilities.

Mona is a Millennial perfectionist who fails upwards in the midst of the 2008 economic crisis.

Despite her potential, and her top-of-her-class college degree, Mona finds herself unemployed, living with her parents, and adrift in life and love. Mona’s the sort who says exactly the right thing at absolutely the wrong moments, seeing the world through a cynic’s eyes. In the financial and social malaise of the early 2000s, Mona walks a knife’s edge as she faces down unemployment, underemployment, the complexities of adult relationships, and the downward spiral of her parents’ shattering marriage. The more Mona craves perfection and order, the more she is forced to see that it is never attainable.


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