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The Author

Sue is the third daughter of Jean Heringman Willacy. Although born in Los Angeles in 1950, she was schooled in Arizona where a major influence during her formative years was living and working with Native American and Mexican families.

Fluent in Spanish and with one year at the University of Iowa’s International Writers’ Workshop, Sue started her career as a translator. An early highlight was having the privilege of meeting Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and translating his first poem, ‘Pelleas and Melisandre’’ to his satisfaction.

In 1970, Sue settled in Spain where she taught English as a Foreign Language. At the same time, she completed her BA in Anthropology, Spanish and French as an external student with the University of London. She then went on to study Philosophy and Education with the University of Madrid. She married and had one son.

In 1975, Sue was invited to work for the University of Southern California in Madrid. Her first position was to create and direct what became a successful adult education program which allowed her to provide academic posts for many of the professors, poets, artists and intellectuals banned from teaching under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

For enthusiasts of the Peninsular War, Sue founded the Spanish Wellington Society with the then Duke of Wellington graciously acting as honorary president. For those interested in the Spanish Civil War, she organized trips to the battlefields led by a former member of the International Brigade.

When, in 1979, the University of Southern California acquired a small English language school, Sue was appointed its director. Over the next ten years, it became one of the most popular language schools in Madrid, with enrollment increasing from 400 to 1,000 students.

Throughout this time, Sue worked as a freelance translator for several Spanish literary publishers, the Spanish Ministry of Tourism, Iberia airlines, the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. She also translated at international and European symposiums and conferences, including the 6th US-Spanish Bilateral Treaty Negotiations.

Divorced from her Spanish husband, Sue and her son re-located to England in 1990 to care for her mother, Jean, who had been badly injured in an automobile accident. Sue taught Spanish at several secondary schools and worked as a specialist children’s librarian to improve reading standards in primary schools.

Now retired, remarried, and a busy grandmother, Sue currently lives in Dorset, England. Her keenest interests are nature and wildlife, music, theatre, books, art, gardening, and travel. She continues to translate and she participates in volunteer projects in the UK and India.

The collecting and compiling of her mother’s testimony is the dedicated work of many years.