Cubanabooks

Mirta Yáñez

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Biography

After graduating from a prep school for gifted and talented adolescents, the Raúl   Bonilla Special Pre-University Institute, Yáñez entered the University of Havana in 1965. Five years later she finished her B.A. in Humanities. She continued post-graduate study at the same institution and received her Doctorate in Philology in 1992. Her area of specialization is Latin American, especially Cuban, literature, with a secondary focus on feminine discourse. A university professor and researcher for many years, more recently she has concentrated fully on her literary writing, journalistic essays, and the promotion of Cuban women writers.

The grand prize for poetry at the Concurso 13 de Marzo , awarded in 1970 for her earliest collection Las visitas [The Visitors], was the first of many accolades that Mirta Yáñez has received throughout her trajectory as a multifaceted writer. Considered one of the most relevant intellectuals of her generation, she has excelled in practically every genre she has tried: poetry, short fiction, novel, and essay. A screenwriter for film and television, she also has to her credit an extensive bibliography as a journalist and literary critic.

In 2004 Yáñez was selected for the MEET Writers in Residence program, hosted by the Maison des Ecrivans et des Traducteurs in Saint-Nazaire, France, where she finished a brief collection of stories, subsequently published in Spanish as Falsos documentos (as well as in French and German). Several of these stories are included in the anthologyHavana Is a Very Big City, published in English by Cubanabooks in 2010. Increasingly the subject for academic and critical attention in the United States, sessions focusing on her work have been given at such major conferences as the Modern Language Association Convention and the Latin American Studies Association Congress.

Mirta Yáñez has presented lectures and taught courses all over the globe, including in Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, Spain, United States, Great Britain, Poland, Germany, and France.

She currently resides in the coastal town of Cojímar, famed as Hemingway’s favorite fishing spot, which is located just across the bay from Havana.

Yáñez’s most recent novel, Sangra por la herida [The Bleeding Wound] just won the Critics’ Choice prize for literature in Cuba and is forthcoming in a bilingual edition from Cubanabooks in 2012. Link to the article in Cuba’s Rebelión magazine, where the prize is announced: http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=136640

Mirta's downstairs bookcase, the inspiration for the Cubanabooks logo

Mirta's downstairs bookcase, the inspiration for the Cubanabooks logo.

Mirta Yáñez Inducted into Academy of Language

On March 30, 2015 the Cuban Academy of Language celebrated their latest member--the “rigurous, reflexive, rebellious, rational, challenging and convincing” Mirta Yáñez (in the words of writer and scholar Margarita Mateo Palmer). The lecture that Yáñez gave at the ceremony, a feminist tour de force on women's representation in Latinamerican Romantic literature.