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Isidra Mencos: Sex, salsa and a great story

Isidra Mencos. Photo by Nathan DeHart

Isidra Mencos is a writer, writing coach, and author of the stunning new memoir Promenade of Desire: A Barcelona Memoir.

We talk about the book and the challenges of writing about family, sex, and self-discovery

After coming to the States in 1992 Isidra has been a translator, university faculty, freelance writer, corporate manager, and essayist. But back in the Barcelona days, she was a young woman coming out of a repressive family and culture, into a wild world of experimentation, sex, and salsa dancing.

The book is candid, engaging, and it takes us not just into her life but into another world of national upheaval and change.

And CHECK OUT our special salsa bonus below!

Highlights from the interview:

What pulled Isidra into telling this story as a memoir.

How this story can support anyone facing the challenges of early adulthood.

What it is to write about a very private family.

The role the body played in this drama.

How salsa was practically a character in the book.

Hear the interview:

More about our guest:

Originally from Spain, Isidra Mencos has lived in the US since 1992. She holds a PhD in Spanish and Latin American Contemporary Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught Spanish language, literature, culture, and creative writing for twelve years. Since she started writing creative nonfiction in English in 2016, her essays have been widely published in literary journals and general interest magazines, from Chicago Quarterly Review to WIRED, and she has been listed as a Notable Essayist in The Best American Essays anthology.

Her debut memoir Promenade of Desire—A Barcelona Memoir (October 2022, She Writes Press) is a sensual coming of age story tracing her journey from repressed Catholic virgin to seductive Mata Hari, as Spain transitioned from dictatorship to democracy. You can find Isidra at and in social media

Special Bonus

Check out this Spotify play list—the best of Salsa from Isidra’s Barcelona dancing days.

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