A reporter and writer, she began her career in the Nicaragua of the sandinista struggle. She covered the conflicts in Central America for The Washington Post and The Guardian, and has written tirelessly since then about Latin America for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, National Geographic and occasionally also for El País. She is the author of three books written in English, and her latest is in Spanish, a memoir called La Habana en un espejo. She was appointed to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. In 2008, and on the advice of Gabriel García Márquez, she took up the Julio Cortázar Chair at the University of Guadalajara. Her many awards include the MacArthur Fellowship and the El País award, the Ortega y Gasset, for her life and work. As an educator, she has given courses on Latin America at the universities of Harvard, Chicago, Princeton and California-Berkeley, as well as on scientific coverage at the Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá. She has recently been awarded with Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 2018.