Gustavo Pérez Firmat
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A writer and scholar, Gustavo Pérez Firmat was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami, Florida. He attended Miami-Dade Community College, the University of Miami, and the University of Michigan, where he earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. He taught at Duke University from 1979 to 1999 and is currently the David Feinson Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. GPF is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon Foundation. In 1995, GPF was named Duke University Scholar/Teacher of the Year. In 1997 Newsweek included him among “100 Americans to watch for the 21st century” and Hispanic Business Magazine selected him as one of the “100 most influential Hispanics” in the United States. In 2004 he was named one of New York’s thirty “outstanding Latinos” by El Diario La Prensa. In 2005 he was selected Educator of the Year by the National Association of Cuban American Educators. GPF has been featured in the documentary CubaAmerican and in the 2013 PBS series Latino Americans.
Pérez Firmat is the author of many books and numerous essays and reviews. His books of literary and cultural criticism include:
- Idle Fictions (Duke, 1982; rev. ed. 1993)
- Literature and Liminality (Duke, 1986)
- The Cuban Condition (Cambridge, 1989; rpt. 2005)
- Do the Americas Have a Common Literature? (Duke, 1990)
- Life on the Hyphen (Texas, 1994, Rpt. 1996, 1999; Spanish version: Vidas en vilo, Colibrí, 2000; Revised and expanded edition, 2012)
- My Own Private Cuba (Colorado, 1999)
- Cincuenta lecciones de exilio y desexilio (Universal, 2000)
- Tongue Ties (Palgrave, 2003)
- The Havana Habit (Yale, 2010)
- The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature [Co-editor] (Norton,2010)
- A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown (Texas, forthcoming 2014)
He has also published several collections of poetry in English and Spanish: Carolina Cuban (Bilingual Press, 1987), Equivocaciones (Betania, 1989), Bilingual Blues (Bilingual Press, 1995); Scar Tissue (Bilingual Press, 2005); a novel, Anything but Love (Arte Público, 2000); and a memoir, Next Year in Cuba: A Cubano's Coming-of-Age in America (Doubleday 1995; rev. ed. 2000; rpt. Arte Público, 2005; Spanish version: El año que viene estamos en Cuba, Arte Público, 1997). Pérez Firmat’s poems have appeared in many magazines, journals and anthologies.
Next Year in Cuba was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction in 1995. Life on the Hyphen was awarded the Eugene M. Kayden University Press National Book Award for 1994 and received Honorable Mention in the Modern Language Association’s Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize and the Latin American Studies Association’s Bryce Wood Book Award.
- Alvarez Borland, Isabel. Cuban-American literature of exile: from person to persona. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998.
- Dalleo, Raphael, and Elena Machado Sáez. The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. pp. 133–158. www.post-sixties.com
- Dick, Bruce Allen. A poet's truth: conversations with Latino/Latina poets. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003.
- Figueredo, D.H. "Pérez Firmat, Gustavo (1949-)." The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature. Vol. 2: M-Z. Edited by Danilo Figueredo. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006: 624-625.
- Pérez, Rolando. “Bilingual Blues.” (Gustavo Pérez-Firmat). Encyclopedia of Hispanic-American Literature. Edited by Luz Elena Ramírez. NY: Facts on File 2008: 37-38.
- Pérez, Rolando.“Pérez Firmat, Gustavo.” Encyclopedia of Hispanic-American Literature. Edited by Luz Elena Ramírez. NY: Facts on File 2008: 267-269.
- Torres, Rodolfo D., and Francisco H. Vázquez. Latino/a thought: culture, politics, and society. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.