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The Informersby Juan Gabriel Vasquez
"The Informers is a dramatic and surprising novel featuring an array of eccentric characters, but its central premise is implausible. It would be easy enough to believe that the pompous Gabriel Santoro Sr. had committed any number of indiscretions — sexual, political, financial — but one cannot believe both that he is a great rhetorician and that his implosion would come thanks to such a calculated public outburst, which could only draw attention to the past he had invested so many years in burying." Benjamin Moser, Harper's Magazine (Read the entire Harper's review)
Synopses & Reviews
A virtuosic novel about family, history, memory, and betrayal from the brightest new Latin American literary talent working today.
When Gabriel Santoro's biography is scathingly reviewed by his own father, a public intellectual and famous Bogotá rhetorician, Gabriel could not imagine what had pierced his icy exterior to provoke such a painful reaction. A volume that catalogs the life of Sara Guterman, a longtime family friend and Jewish immigrant, since her arrival in Colombia in the 1930s, A Life in Exile seemed a slim, innocent exercise in recording modern history. But as a devastated Gabriel delves, yet again, into Sara's story, searching for clues to his father's anger, he cannot yet see the sinister secret buried in his research that could destroy his father's exalted reputation and redefine his own.
After his father's mysterious death in a car accident a few years later, Gabriel sets out anew to navigate half a century of half-truths and hidden meanings. With the help of Sara Guterman and his father's young girlfriend, Angelina, layer after shocking layer of Gabriel's world falls away and a complex portrait of his father emerges from the ruins. From the streets of 1940s Bogotá to a stranger's doorstep in 1990s Medellin, he unravels the web of doubt, betrayal, and guilt at the core of his father's life and he wades into a dark, long-silenced period of Colombian history after World War II.
With a taut, riveting narrative and achingly beautiful prose, Juan Gabriel Vásquez delivers an expansive, powerful exploration of the sins of our fathers, of war's devastating psychological costs, and of the inescapability of the past. A novel that has earned Vásquez comparisons to Sebald, Borges, Roth, and Márquez, The Informers heralds the arrival of a major literary talent.
When Gabriel Santoro's book is scathingly reviewed by his own father, a famous Bogotá rhetorician, Gabriel is devastated. Cataloging the life of longtime family friend Sara Guterman, a Jewish German immigrant who escaped to Colombia during the 1930s, Gabriel's book seemed an innocent attempt to preserve a piece of his country's rapidly vanishing past. But as Gabriel pours over his research looking for clues to his father's anger, he discovers a sinister secret locked in the pages. After his father's death, and with the help of Sara Guterman and his father's girlfriend, Angelina, Gabriel peels back layer after shocking layer of family history — from the streets of 1940s Bogotá to a stranger's doorstep in 1990s Medellin — to reveal a hidden portrait of their past-dark, complex, and inescapable.
From the award-winning, bestselling author of The Sound of Things Falling, a brilliant collection of stories that showcases why he is one of the best writers—in any language—working today.
Lovers on All Saints' Day is an emotional book that haunts, moves, and seduces. Juan Gabriel Vásquez, the brilliant novelist, now brings his keen eye and rich prose to the themes of love and memory in these seven powerful stories.
Vásquez achieves an extraordinary unity of emotion with these fragmented lives. A Colombian writer is witness to a murder that will mark him forever. A woman sits alone in her house, waiting for her husband to return from an expedition to find wood for their stove, while he lies in another womans bed a few miles away, unable to heal the wound in his own marriage. In these stories, there are love affairs, revenge, troubled pasts, and tender moments that reveal a persons whole history in a few sentences.
Set in Europe (the scene of Vásquezs own self-imposed exile from Latin America) and never before available in English, this collection evokes a singular mood and a tone, and showcase Vásquezs hypnotic writing. Vásquez is a humane, deeply insightful writer, and these stories leave one feeling transformed from the experience of reading them, with a greater vision of humanity and society, a greater understanding of relationships and of love.
Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America’s greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.
In the city of Bogotá, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar’s Medellín cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia’s streets and in the skies above. Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend’s murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend’s family have been shaped by his country’s recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare.
Vásquez is “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature,” according to Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing—and will take his literary star—even higher.
About the Author
Author Juan Gabriel Vasquez is a critically acclaimed Colombian writer, translator, and award-winning author. Educated in Barcelona and in Paris at the Sorbonne, he now teaches in Barcelona, where he lives with his wife and twin daughters. Anne Mclean's translations of Latin American and Spanish works have been short-listed for the IMPAC prize, won the Premio Valle-Inclán, and twice been awarded the Independent's Foreign Fiction Prize.
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