Cuban writer Zoe Valdés publishes her autobiography
The book is composed of moments that marked the life of the author, born in Havana in 1959 and exiled in Paris, France, since 1995
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The life of Zoé Valdés leaves no one indifferent. Born on May 2, 1959 in Havana, Valdes was a rebellious student. She spent her youth on the island, where she entered the Faculty of Philology at the University of Havana, but never finnished her studies. Between 1984 and 1988 she was a member of the Cuban Delegation to UNESCO in Paris. After returning, she began to make a living as a screenwriter and later became assistant director of the magazine Cine Cubano. In 1993, she published her first novel, 'Sangre azul', and since then she published some fifteen novels, including "The Weeping Woman" and "Yocandra in the Paradise of Nada: A Novel of Cuba" (La nada cotidiana"), which catapulted her internationally.
A fervent opponent of Fidel Castro's government, Valdés ended up leaving the island in 1995, taking advantage of an invitation to a conference on José Martí in Paris. She asked for political asylum in France and since then has not returned to Cuba, the 'Ínsula de Cagona', in her particular slang.
That decision would mark his life and would be the beginning of a long series of recognitions and awards for a fruitful and unblemished literary career. A trajectory that he now tells us about in "La intensa vida", an autobiographical book that gathers all the stages of his life, from his childhood and youth in socialist Cuba to his exile in Spain and France.
As her publisher writes, Valdés looks back and remembers the land where he was born and its people, as well as the beginnings of his passion for writing. The funniest and most endearing stories go hand in hand with bitter moments, in which the shadow of Castro's regime shows its true face. But there is also room for Parisian episodes of immersion in a new culture, strange but fascinating, or invocations such as that of Samuel Beckett, thus configuring a sort of memoirs without exhaustive zeal and with the genuine imprint of a writer of race who turns everything she touches into literature.
At 63 years of age, Valdés assures that she would like to return to Cuba one day, when there is 'freedom and democracy', as she told the newspaper El País. However, she knows the road is slow and complex. "Many people have died along the way waiting for him. Cuba is a separate case, extremely critical, more than 63 years of dictatorship. It would have been our turn to return, it would have been our turn a long time ago, but everything has conspired to prevent that from happening", she told the Spanish newspaper.
Critical of leftist movements in Europe, Valdés is very active in social networks, where she promotes ideologies linked to the extreme right. And she has militated in favor of Trump's reelection in the United States, of whom she said in an article: "Let us pray that in the next elections on November 3 Donald Trump will be reelected: a patriot, a humanist, a peacemaker...".
A prolific author, Valdés has won multiple awards, including the Fernando Lara de Novela for "Lobas de mar" and the Azorín for "La mujer que llora". She has been three times finalist for the Médicis Extranjero in France, and finalist for the Planeta with "Te di la vida entera".
She worked as editor-in-chief of the art magazine ARS Magazine (USA) and collaborates with publications such as El País, El Mundo, El Semanal, Qué leer, Elle, Vogue, Le Monde, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur and El Universal de Caracas.
She co-directed a short film, "Caresses of Oshún", and was a member of the Grand Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Her work has been translated into numerous languages.