Belkis Cuza Malé was born in 1942 in Guantánamo, Cuba. She studied humanities in la Universidad de Oriente. In 1967 she married the Cuban poet Heberto Padilla. Though initially a supporter of the Castro revolution, she later became a critic of his regime. She was jailed with Padilla in 1971, charged with "subversive writing." Their arrest and imprisonment were later known as the "Padilla affair." She went into exile in the United States with her little son in 1979, until the Cuban government authorized to leave Cuba. She founded Linden Lane Magazine, a review of Latin American and North American writers, in 1982. Her books include Elvis: La tumba sin sosiego and Woman on the Front Lines.