Amir Valle, born in 1967 in Guantánamo, is a Cuban writer, essayist, literature critic and journalist.In March 2006 Valle came to Germany, as a guest of the Heinrich-Höll-Haus in Langenbroich. Three months later he received a "Writers in Exile" fellowship of the P.E.N. center Germany. At the moment he and his family live in Berlin.Amir Valle has published several books (novels, stories, essays). So far eight of them have been translated into German, all published by Köln Edition.His short stories were published in several anthologies and magazines in Cuba, as well as in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Columbia, Mexico, the USA, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. His literary reviews get published in the most important culture magazines and professional journals in Latin America, the USA, Europe and Asia. As editor and critic he has composed and written the forewords to the following anthologies: Los muchachos se divierten, El ojo de la noche (storytelling by Cuban women in the 90s, 2000), Inocencias prohibidas. El cuento latinoamericano de los años 90 (Latin-American stories, 2002) , Té con limón (Erotic literature by women, 2002), Como elefantes blancos (2003) and Caminos de Eva (short stories by women, Puerto Rico 2003).Amir Valle was awarded some of the most important Cuban literature prizes, amongst them the Premio Nacional Razón de Ser de Novela (1999), Premio Nacional José Soler Puig de Novela (1999) and Premio Nacional La Llama Doble de Novela Erótica (2000 und 2003).He also won international prizes (Dominican Republic, Columbia, Mexico, Spain). In 2006 he received the Mario Vargas Llosa-Prize for his novel Die Wörter und die Toten and in 2007 Jineteras was awarded the Rodolfo Walsh Prize, which honours the best Spanish non-ficition book. Amir Valle is member of the International Association of crime writers (AIEP).For many years he was teaching at the Centro de Formación Literaria Onelio Jorge Cardoso, the most important literary eduction center of his country, which he founded.For two years he was the publisher of the electronic magazine Letrasen Cuba as well as of the Boletín Internacional de Noticias Literarias A título personal, which was published 30 times before it was banned by the Cuban censorship office.Between 2001 and 2006 he was general coordinator of the Colección Cultura Cubana of the publishing house Plaza Mayor in Puerto Rico and editor of the literature magazine Cara y Cruz, which was published at the same house. At the moment he is a member of the editorial boards of the magazines Fantoches and Gangsterera (both specialised in crime novels of the black series) and he was the editor responsible for the cultural calendar of the magazine Contrapunto de América Latina.
What do you love about Berlin?
Politics. I was banned from my country for my political views.
What do you miss in Berlin?
The sun of my country, the happiness of my people, the love of my parents, my beaches …
What is your favorite spot in Berlin?
Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?
Which existing literary work do you wish you would have written?
Es gib keine Ameisen im Schnee - my new novel about exiled Cubans in Berlin
He won the most significant literature prizes of his country, amongst which are the following:
1986, Premio Nacional de Cuento "3 de Marzo" (National novelist prize): Tiempo en cueros
1986, Primera Mención David (National novelist prize): Yo soy el malo
1988, Premio Nacional de Testimonio "Rubén Martínez Villena" de la UNEAC (National non-finction prize of UNEAC): En el nombre de Dios
1997, Premio Nacional Memoria, en Testimonio (National non-fiction prize): Laberinto de ratas (aún inédita)
1998, Premio Nacional de Crítica Artística y Literaria José A. Portuondo (National prize for culture and literature criticism) : La obra narrativa de Guillermo Vidal
1998, Premio Nacional de Cuento "Manuel Cofiño" (National novelist prize): La danza alucinaba del suicida
1999, Premio Nacional de Novela "Razón de Ser" (National novel prize): Las sombras de la piel (aún inédita)
1999, Premio Nacional de Novela "José Soler Puig" (National novel prize): Si Cristo te desnuda
2001, Premio Nacional Hermanos Loynaz de Literatura Infantil (National children’s literature prize): Donde se esconde un ángel (aún inédita)
2000 & 2002 Premio Nacional de Novela Erótica La Llama Doble (National prize for erotic novels – twice): Muchacha azul bajo la lluvia und Los desnudos de Dios
He won the following international awards:
1997, Premio Internacional de Ensayo "Próspero Morales Pradilla" de Colombia (International essay prize): García Márquez. Ese universo de la soledad americana.
1997, Primera Mención Concurso Internacional de Cuento "Fernando González" de Colombia, (Special Mention at international novelist competition): Mambrú no fue a la guerra.
1998, Premio de Novela Negra "Distel Verlag", Alemania (crime novel prize): Las puertas de la noche.
1999, Premio Internacional Odysseus de Literatura Homoerótica, Barcelona, España, (International prize for homo-erotic literature Odysseus):
2002, Premio Internacional de Cuento Casa de Teatro, de República Dominicana (International novelist prize): Los cronopios, las putas y un viejo café en el París de entonces.
2004, Finalista al Premio Internacional "Dashiell Hammett" a la mejor novela negra publicada en lengua española (Finalist at the international competition for the best Spanish crime novel): Entre el miedo y las sombras
2006, Premio Internacional de Novela "Mario Vargas Llosa" (International novel prize): Las palabras y los muertos.
2006, Premio NOVELPOL de los lectores españoles a la mejor novela negra publicada en España (Prize of Spanish readers for the best crime novel published in Spain): Santuario de sombras
2007, Premio Internacional Rodolfo Walsh (a la mejor obra de no ficción publicada en lengua española) (International prize for the best non-fiction book published in Spanish):
2008, Premio Internacional de Novela Negra Ciudad de Carmona (International novel prize): Largas noches con Flavia.