Aida Bahr


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 the story collections Hay un gato en la ventana (Havana: Letras Cubanas 1984), Ellas de noche (Havana: Letras Cubanas, 1989), Espejísmos (Havana: Ediciones Unión, 1998), and Ofelias (Havana: Letras Cubanas, 2007); the novels Las Voces y Los Ecos (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Plaza Mayor, 2004 and Havana: Ediciones Unión, 2006) and A merced di mi (Ediciones Unión, 2010); 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 female points 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 de Cuentro (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. She is now vice-president of the Instituto Cubano de Libro which manages Cuba's annual Feria del Libro in Havana.

Her book Ofelias/Ophelias is available as an English/Spanish bilingual edition, with translation by Dick Cluster.

Ofelia makes BookRiots(opens in new window) top 100 Must-Read Latin American Books!

Read about the author and her work:

"Ofelias, written by Aida Bahr, awarded the Alejo Carpentier Prize 2007 in the Short Story category"(opens in new window) (2/18/2008) available on Cuba Headlines website, translated into English from a review on in new window)

Ivette Romero reviews(opens in new window) the new colecction of essays by Helen Hernández Hormilla,Mujeres en crisis: Aproximaciones a lo femenino en las narradoras cubanas de los noventa, in which Aida Bahr is noted as "one of the most outstanding narrative voices of the decade of the 90s.

Zafra Lit, the Blog of New Short Fiction from Contemporary Cuban Authors, features a translation of Bahr's short story "Colors."(opens in new window)

If you have access to JSTOR, check out these Two Stories(opens in new window) translated by Dick Cluster and published in the Massachusettes Review.

Interview and reading by Sara Cooper of An Address in Havana and Ophelias by María Elena Llana and Aida Bahr

Portrait of Aida Bahr