Orlando Ortega-Medina was born in Los Angeles to immigrants from Cuba. He studied English Literature at UCLA and has a Juris Doctor law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. At university, he won the National Society of Arts and Letters Award for Short Stories.
Following his admission to the bar in 1992, Ortega-Medina practiced criminal defence in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Attorney Kenneth Kahn, of The Falcon and the Snowman fame. After four years, Ortega-Medina moved his practice to San Francisco in 1997, where he transitioned to representing clients in appeals, post-conviction relief, and deportation defence.
In August 1999, Ortega-Medina and his life partner expatriated to Canada. And in 2005, taking advantage of Canada’s recognition of same-sex marriage, he and his life partner were among the first same-sex couples to marry at Montreal’s Hotel de Ville.
Ortega-Medina’s short story collection Jerusalem Ablaze was shortlisted for The Polari First Book Prize (2017). In 2018, he was named the Marilyn Hassid Emerging Author for the Houston Jewish Book & Arts Festival. He is the author of two novels, The Death of Baseball (2019) and The Savior of 6th Street (2020). Ortega-Medina lives in London.
Amble Press will publish The Fitful Sleep of Immigrants in 2022.