As part of our ongoing coverage of National Hispanic Heritage Month, today we are celebrating Daína Chaviano, Cuban-American science fiction writer. Críticas Magazine said of her writing “It’s as if Ray Bradbury married Michael Ende and frolicked occasionally with Anaïs Nin.” That’s our kind of writer.
From Chaviano’d website
Daína Chaviano (b. Havana, Cuba). In 1979 she received the David Prize for Science Fiction for Los mundos que amo (1980). After this, she published Amoroso planeta (1982), Historias de hadas para adultos (1986), Fábulas de una abuela extraterrestre (1988), and El abrevadero de los dinosaurios (1990).
She established the first science fiction literary workshop in Latin America. Later she worked as a screenwriter for television shows for children, youths, and adults. She was a TV and radio emcee, and acted in some independent films. Since 1991, she lives in Miami, Florida (USA).
Outside Cuba she has published País de dragones, a short-story collection for young adults; a poetry book, Confesiones eróticas y otros hechizos; and the series of novels «The Occult Side of Havana », consisting of El hombre, la hembra y el hambre (1998 ), Casa de juegos (2000), Gata encerrada (2001), and The Island of Eternal Love (2006), that has become the most widely translated Cuban novel of all time with editions in 27 languages.
Daína Chaviano has received several international recognitions, like the Anna Seghers Award (Berlin Academy of Arts, Germany, 1990), Azorín Prize for Best Novel (Spain, 1998), Goliardos International Award for Fantasy (Mexico, 2003), Guest of Honor at the 25th International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, 2004), Gold Medal for Best Book in Spanish Language (Florida Book Awards, 2006), and Malinalli National Award for the Promotion of the Arts, Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (Mexico, 2014).
Recognized as the most prominent contemporary Cuban author of science fiction and fantasy, Daína Chaviano exercises equal virtuosity in the traditional (mainstream) narrative mode. She melds realistic and historical elements with aspects of science fiction, fantasy, and Gothic literature. Her themes encompass mythology, ancient history, sociology, parapsychology, eroticism, politics, and magic, all developed in a language filled with poetic, sensual imagery.
Her works have been described as “wild experiments in genre-busting. It’s as if Ray Bradbury married Michael Ende and frolicked occasionally with Anaïs Nin.” (Críticas Magazine, USA, Jan-Feb. 2004)