More About the Author
Pedro Juan Gutiérrez born in 1950 (Matanzas, Cuba). He began to work when he was thirteen years old like a vendor of ice-creams and newspapers. He was a soldier, swimming and kayak instructor, agricultural worker, technician in construction, technical designer, radiostation speaker, and journalist for 26 years.
Gutiérrez is author of several poetry books, and author of "Dirty Havana Trilogy", "El Rey de la Habana" ("The King of Havana"), "Tropical Animal" (winner of the Spanish prize Alfonso García Ramos 2000), the short stories book "Melancolía de los leones" ("Melancholy of the lions"), "The insatiable spiderman" (winner of the Italian prize Narrativa Sur del Mundo), "El nido de la serpiente" ("The snake nest"winner of the Prix des Amériques insulaires et de la Guyane 2008), "Our GG in Havana", and "Corazón mestizo" ("Mestizo heart"), a Cuban travel book.
In his new book, "Diálogo con mi sombra" (2103) Gutiérrez explores in depth the art of writing, but the book is also a wonderful making-of about the work by this Cuban author which has become an enduring myth in Latin American literature.
His use of dirty realism has led some critics to call him the "Caribbean Bukowski". Named master of "dirty realism", Gutiérrez depicts life in the shady alleys of Havana in a direct, visceral style.
His books describe contemporary Cuba from his semi-autobiographical perspective as a disillusioned journalist. Gutiérrez' narrative voice is skeptical, intellectual, humorous, crass, sardonic, and bluntly frank. His literary persona is chiefly concerned with escaping poverty and the pursuit of sex, rum, and writing.
Gutiérrez' stories are typically gritty, tragicomic accounts of himself and his countrymen hustling for money, searching for pleasure and happiness, and struggling in desperate situations. Most chapters incorporate heavy use of a form of irony. His stories illustrate the difficulty of achieving self-sufficiency and contentment in a dysfunctional and poverty-stricken society living under paternalistic government. Despite his grim depiction of many aspects of Cuban life, Gutiérrez' writing stresses his overriding love for Cuban culture. He frequently praises Cuban music, resourcefulness, and joie de vivre.
Gutiérrez writes scornfully of people who avoid risk and self-expression in exchange for smothering safety and boredom-inducing banality.
He lives in Havana where he shares literature with painting.