Margot Pepper

Born: 1962

Margot Pepper is a bilingual educator, novelist, and poet. She was born in 1962 in Mexico City, where her American parents had found refuge after her father, Hollywood movie producer George Pepper, was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee for his radical political views. After her father passed away when Pepper was just seven years old, she lived for a year in the Hollywood home of another blacklisted talent, famed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Growing up and attending school in Los Angeles, Pepper faced bullying from other students about her childhood in Mexico. Seeking an escape from their cruelty and refuge from the abuse of her new stepfather, she soaked up the excitement of the Santa Monica and Venice beach scenes. In 1980, she even won the Morey Boogie Board Surfing trophy by standing on her head while catching a wave. After graduating from Palisades High, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in literature and writing with a minor in Spanish from the University of California at San Diego. She went on to complete her Master’s of Fine Arts in creative writing at San Francisco State University, and she is a certified bilingual educator in English and Spanish. In addition to countless articles, translations, and spoken word performances, Pepper has published three books with San Francisco’s Freedom Voices press. She shared her poetry and short fiction in the 1992 collection, At This Very Moment. In 2005, she remembered her experiences as a foreign correspondent in post-Cold War Cuba in Through the Wall: A Year in Havana. The historical and personal memoir became a finalist for the 2006 American Book Award. In 2015 she released her latest book, the techno-dystopian thriller American Day Dream. She has been an educator for more than two decades, and is a professional poet with the longtime California Poets In the Schools initiative. She is currently at work developing her latest book, a collection of magical realism short stories. Pepper resides with her family in the California Bay Area.