Andes Hruby graduated from Bennington College and later received her MFA from Columbia University. Her literary accomplishments include mainstream publication of the novel The Trouble With Catherine and awards in both short fiction and personal essays.
Andes is named after the South American mountain range. When she was born in 1969 her parents were living in Venezuela exploring alternative lifestyles during the Vietnam Conflict. After her father’s accidental death she and her mother returned to New York City.
In the early 1970’s Andes grew up watching her mother’s friends explore new paths as artists. Carving her destiny for a creative life she became witness to a growing society of rebellious photographers (Robert Mapplethorpe), experimental painters (Brice Marden), risk taking sculptors (Richard Serra) and defiant performance artists (Patti Smith) who were neighbors in the barren Bowery lofts of Manhattan. Her mother’s own performances in Jazz clubs and lounges gave Andes the motivation to join in on the raw punk rock invasion. By the age of ten she had played at CBGB’s, the Mudd Club, and the Kitchen with the adult band “Container.”
In contrast to her life at home and unconventional upbringing Andes spent her days modeling. She was introduced to child modeling by a family friend at the age of 4 and continued a lucrative career with Ford Modeling Management until she was 14. After the painful realization that she would never be tall enough to model as an adult she focused on traditional academic pursuits at George School: a Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania.
Throughout her life Andes could never shed her years of early exposure to an artistic existence. Being the child of a performer who had never achieved recognition she was aware of its imminent instability. For years Andes tried to embrace traditional jobs in teaching, marketing, publicity and fashion, but always felt a sense of discontent. Defeated in her late twenties she left New York and concentrated on writing and traveling.
Andes balanced time at her desk with intense athletic passions. She traveled through Europe, Australia, Asia and Central America in search of wind, waves and mountains. She lived in Austria for several years with her child and former husband. Currently, she balances the responsibility and joy of being remarried to a helicptor pilot, a large boisterous family of 5 kids, and living in the outdoor mecca of Bend, Oregon.
photo credit: Rob Kerr