Amir Valle (Foto: privat)
Amir Valle was born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1967. In Santiago de Cuba he studied journalism and in Havana he studied publishing. Since then, he has worked as a writer, literary critic and journalist. He has received numerous literary awards, among those the Cuban La Llama Doble Prize for Erotic Novels and the International Rodolfo Walsh Prize for his book Jineteras. His short stories and literary reviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines in Cuba and have been published internationally. He has released over 20 books, which, like his articles, have been translated into several languages. Until he was banned by the Cuban literary authorities, he served as editor of the online magazine Letras en Cuba and the magazine Boletín Internacional de Noticias Literarias and then worked as chief coordinator of Collecion Cultura Cubana, as well as publisher of the literary magazine Cara y Cruz. The Cuban government monitored his international success critically and did everything to impede his work. When the Cuban Ministry of Culture issued an urgent resolution banning anyone from working with Amir Valle, he and his family were in danger. Especially after his study about prostitution in Cuba was secretly widely distributed throughout the island—though Fidel Castro had personally banned the book—his prospects were grim. After a book presentation in Spain, he could not return home—he was denied entry into Cuba. In March 2006, he came with his family to Germany as a guest of the Heinrich Böll House. From August 2006 to October 2009, he was a guest of the PEN Writers in Exile Program. Several of his books have been published in German translation, including the novels The Words and the Dead, The Doors at Night, The Skin and the Naked, or the documentary Habana Babilonia. Prostitution in Cuba. In April 2010, his book Descent into Hell – Two Thrillers from Cuba was released. Amir Valle currently resides with his family in Berlin, where he works as a freelance writer and journalist for various German and Spanish media. He is founder and publisher of the Latin American online culture magazine OtroLunes.com and has recently released novels and anthologies in Spain and Italy. In 2017, a text by Valle will be published in the German PEN anthology Zuflucht in Deutschland. Texte verfolgter Autoren (S. Fischer).