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Cabiya, Pedro

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1971-    ) Puerto Rico-born author and cultural critic who directs the Centro de Lenguas y Culturas Modernas de la Universidad Iberoamericana in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), and the Heart of Gold Films production. He became a relevant figure in the Hispanic Caribbean when his short-story collection Historias tremendas ["Tremendous Stories"] (coll 1999), was declared Best Book of the Year by both PEN Club International and the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature.

Cabiya has published three sf novels, La cabeza ["The Head"] (2005); Trance ["Trance"] (2007), and Malas hierbas ["Weeds"] (2011), and has also collaborated in the creation of the sf comic "Las extrañas y terribles aventuras de Ánima Sola: Hambre" ["The Strange and Terrible Adventures of Anima Sola: Hunger"] (November 2003 Zemí Comics Inc), with art by Israel González (?   -    ) and Yovanni Ramírez (?   -    ).

Cabiya's stories are grotesque representations of the Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture. His use of sf is an excuse to describe those societies and its obsessions with Sex, violence, social problems, and personal inter-connections. Cabiya's novels have become very popular and even cultural icons in the Hispanic Caribbean. His novels have also been growing in length. La cabeza was a mere sixty pages long, Trance was three times longer, and Malas hierbas (the latest) is over 250 pages. However, the high quality and the use of a direct language is similar in all three cases. As for the subject matter, while Malas hierbas is a story of a Zombie with scientific knowledge, through which Cabiya comments on the mostly destructive effects of capitalism in the culture of the Caribbean, La cabeza is a story focused on the moral corruption of sexual desire, and the ethical contradictions produced by the acceptance or rejection of euthanasia. Finally, Trance is a novel in which the treatment of violence, and social and gender exclusion, seems to be explained (if not excused) by the last chapter, where it emerges that all previous characters were "possessed" by an Alien entity. [JCTR]

Pedro Cabiya

born San Juan de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico: 2 November 1971

works (selected)

  • La cabeza ["The Head"] (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Editorial Isla Negra, 2005) [pb/]
  • Trance ["Trance"] (Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Grupo Editorial Norma, 2007) [pb/]
  • Malas hierbas ["Weeds"] (New York: USA: Zemí Book, 2011) [pb/]


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