Back in the 1970s Kitty Kroger was involved in an experience that profoundly affected her: she joined a so-called “Marxist-Leninist” organization. Dancing with Mao and Miguel is a fictionalization of that time as seen through the eyes of her protagonist, Jenny Apple. Jenny wrestles with the beliefs and dogmatism of the organization and with fears of intimacy and low self-esteem, all the while engaged in a difficult relationship with a Dominican immigrant. In the novel the reader is swept along on a roller-coaster ride through those heady times. (You can read the first chapter here.)
Never content to let grass (not that kind) grow under her feet, Kitty was raised in northwestern Montana, went to college in Colorado Springs, got involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement in Berlin, Germany, then joined a Maoist group in New Jersey. It was there that her son was born. After organizing in several factories, her path led her through Denver to teaching E.S.L. in Los Angeles. The grass finally started to grow under her feet. With a group called Neighbors for Peace and Justice, she organized against the build-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Of her many activities today, she is involved in the movements against climate change and for universal healthcare. Her personal passions are hiking, photography, and standup comedy.
Check out the oral history blog on the sixties and seventies, which Kitty edits, at sixtiesandseventiesblog.wordpress.com.