G(uillermo) Cabrera Infante 1929–
(Also wrote under pseudonym of G. Cain) Cuban-born novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, journalist, critic, editor, and translator.
Although now a British citizen, Cabrera Infante is often described as one of Latin America's most important writers. Loosely structured and linguistically inventive, his fiction resists traditional literary classifications. It therefore demands flexibility of approach from both critics and readers.
Censored in both Cuba and Spain, Cabrera Infante has written graphic, satiric portrayals of his native country. Among the most acclaimed of these is his Así en la paz como en la guerra: cuentos, a composite of stories, sketches, and sociological commentary dealing with the terrors of the Batista regime.
Cabrera Infante is best known, however, for his Tres tristes tigres (Three Trapped Tigers). Blending comedy and tragedy, this novel portrays Havana nightlife on the eve of Batista's fall. Written primarily in the language of the Cuban streets and narrated by several speakers, Tres tristes tigres pictures a society devolving into physical and spiritual confusion. Within this society, language sounds bizarre as it is reshaped by people struggling for new means of communication. Events are sudden and inexplicable. As the revolution looms, in the words of Raymond D. Souza, Cabrera Infante's characters search for "order in chaos, permanence in a realm of change, infinity in a world of limitations."
(See also CLC, Vol. 5 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 85-88.)