Natalia Sylvester

Listen to the interview

We’re sitting down with acclaimed author Natalia Sylvester this week, chatting about her new novel, EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME (Little A, March 13, 2018).

Writing On the Air is broadcast each Wednesday from 6-7 pm Central from the KOOP Radio studios in Austin, Texas.  We are heard on 91.7FM KOOP, and online at, and Radio Free America.  Recent episodes are immediately available after the broadcast on Radio Free America. 

Listen to our past episodes below – simply scroll through the guests, or try the search bar. You can download the interviews from each page, and our podcast is also available on iTunes.  For show updates, be sure and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

We’re glad you’re here, and thanks for listening to our show. 

Natalia Sylvester’second novel is EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME, published March 13, 2018 by Little A.

Natalia received a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami in 2006. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Texas and is a faculty member of the low-res MFA program at Regis University. Her articles have appeared in Latina Magazine, Writer’s Digest, The Austin American-Statesman, and

Natalia’s first novel, CHASING THE SUN (New Harvest June 3, 2014) was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad, and was chosen as a Book of the Month by the National Latino Book Club.

Natalia was born in Lima, Peru. She came to the U.S. at age four. As a child she spent time in South Florida, Central Florida and the Texas Rio Grande Valley before her family set roots once again in Miami. She lives in Austin, Texas.


 “Sylvester memorably depicts the precarious existence and difficult choices that face undocumented immigrants to America.” Publishers Weekly

“Fans of Alice Hoffman and Polly Samson will appreciate [Sylvester’s] ability to blend the supernatural with the humdrum, imbuing each character in this droll yet tender novel with wit and warmth.” Booklist

“A beautifully written story that illuminates the complex allegiances of family and the costs of denying the past for the exigencies of the present. With great warmth, humor, and wisdom, Natalia Sylvester brings the border to vivid life in this timeless journey deep inside the human heart.” —Cristina García, author of Here in Berlin and Dreaming in Cuban

Everyone Knows You Go Home is a deeply satisfying read, beautifully illustrating how love and obligation shape our lives and give them meaning. Life on the borderlands—between Texas and Mexico, news reports and real life, history and memory, the living and the dead—creates an immersive world for exploring the mysteries that we all are to each other, bound as we may be by shared blood, shared love, and shared grief.” —ire’ne lara silva, author of flesh to bone

“I was charmed by this novel from the start, and when a character from the afterlife shows up—and when no one in the book thinks it unusual or strange—I was smitten. This is the tangled history of one family’s past and present both here and beyond. Sylvester’s gift is that she’s able to infuse it, in more ways than one, with extraordinary spirit and life.” —Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans

Everyone Knows You Go Home is a rich and moving story of love and secrets. Natalia Sylvester beautifully explores borders both physical and metaphysical.” —Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and No One is Here Except All of Us

“Sylvester charms with a family saga that is both epic and intimate in scope, delivering an unforgettable tale of the boundless power of love and redemption. Everyone Knows You Go Home is a dreamy spell of a novel, a new window into the magic and mystery of the natural world and beyond.” —Patricia Engel, author of The Veins of the Ocean and Vida, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year

ABOUT EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME (Little A, March 13, 2018).

From the acclaimed author of CHASING THE SUN comes a new novel about immigration and the depths to which one Mexican American family will go for forgiveness and redemption.

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he’s already dead—an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar’s family—especially his wife, Elda—to let him redeem himself.

​Isabel and Martin settle into married life in a Texas border town, and Omar returns each year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Every year Isabel listens, but to the aggrieved Martin and Elda, Omar’s spirit remains invisible. Through his visits, Isabel gains insight into not just the truth about his disappearance and her husband’s childhood but also the ways grief can eat away at love. When Martin’s teenage nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin’s home, questions about past and future homes, borders, and belonging arise that may finally lead to forgiveness—and alter all their lives forever.

​For more information, please see You can keep up with Natalia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.