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Aida Bahr and Dick Cluster in SF Bay Area

Cuban writer Aida Bahr and the veteran translator Dick Cluster were recently in the Bay Area. Videos and more...

Aida Bahr talks at Moe's Books

Cuban writer Aida Bahr and translator Dick Cluster mesmerized audiences Monday, May 18th at 7pm Moe’s Books—Berkeley and Tuesday, May 19th at 7pm Modern Times Bookstore—San Francisco.  LISTEN HERE to the entire evening, or watch one of the videos, below!

 

THE BOOK:

The crisp tension in this daring collection of short stories —with both the original Spanish and flawless English renditions— reveals a darker side of Cuban reality.

 

Cover of Ophelias

One woman wakes up to find an unknown man fast asleep by her side. Another has misplaced her child, and doesn’t know what to tell the police. A third has killed her racist and controlling father -- or hasn’t she, after all? A teenager at the beach -- going, going, gone; a preteen suddenly abandoned with an unknown great-grandmother on the edge of nowhere; a professor who sees “the eye of the tiger” wherever she looks; a married woman who sees someone else in the mirror, someone playing an entirely different game.  Ophelias is about women pushed to the edge of madness. These eight stories could happen anywhere -- and they could happen only in Cuba.

THE AUTHOR:

Born in 1958 in Holguín, Cuba, Aida Bahr earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at the Universidad de Oriente in Santiago de Cuba, and has resided in Santiago (Cuba's eastern "capital") since the 1980s. She is the author of several novels and books of short stories; screenplays for films and TV; and two books of literary criticism.

Aida Bahr's stories have been translated into English and into Russian, and published in anthologies in Spain, Mexico, the United States, England, Argentina, and France. She has been a pioneer in publishing fiction in Cuba that looks at women's lives from a female point of view. Her fiction also stands out, in the literarily Havana-centric decades of the 1990s and 2000s, for being set in the cities and towns of eastern Cuba. For Ofelias, she was the winner of the 2007 Premio Alejo Carpentier del Cuento (annual national literary prize in the category of short story collections) and the 2007 Premio de la Critica (national Critics Award).

She has been director of the publishing house Ediciones Oriente in Santiago de Cuba since 1998, as well as editor of the associated magazine SiC, and member of the editorial board of the journals Del Caribe and Perfil de Santiago. 

THE TRANSLATOR:

Dick Cluster is the author of the novels Return to Sender, Repulse Monkey, and Obligations of the Bone as well as (with Rafael Hernández) History of Havana, a social history of the Cuban capital. He has translated a wide range of contemporary fiction writers, including Raúl Águiar, Aida Bahr, Josefina de Diego, Pedro de Jesús, Mylene Fernández, Leonardo Padura, Abel Prieto, and Mirta Yáñez. He now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

THE PRESS:

Cubanabooks is a small, non-profit press committed to bringing first-class literature by Cuban women to readers in the United States as well as to a global English- and Spanish-speaking public.  Although interest in Latin American women writers has grown over the last few decades, few pre- and post-revolutionary Cuban women writers are familiar to readers outside of Cuba.  To correct this unavailability, Cubanabooks is devoted to publishing in bilingual English/Spanish editions the best fiction, poetry, drama, and creative non-fiction by Cuban women. www.csuchico.edu/cubanabooks