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Juan Gabriel Vásquez Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Informers (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret History of Costaguana (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sound of Things Falling (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reputations (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shape of the Ruins (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Retrospective (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Lovers on All Saints' Day (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Songs for the Flames (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Future Is Not Ours: New Latin American Fiction(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
A London Address(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lunatics, Lovers and Poets(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Juan Gabriel Vasquez is a literary fiction author with a strong and incurable Anglophilia. He has said this is probably because his father stayed in London for three years while his uncle was his country’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Given that he was brought up in several different countries, he is now a trilingual translator. He has translated into Spanish works by John Dos Pasos, Victor Hugo, and EM Forster.

He currently makes his home in Barcelona, where he lives with Mariana his wife who is the publicist to a publisher. The two have two kids Carlota and Martina who happen to be twins.

Since the family moved to Europe from his native Colombia more than a dozen years ago, he has become obsessed with his homeland.

The 2010 published novel “The Secret History of Costaguana” would become his most popular work. It is a knowing, picaresque, and humorous take on a family saga.

Still, this was not his first rodeo as he made his debut writing fiction with the publication of “The Informers” in 2008. Juan Vasquez has now won several prestigious awards and has more than half a dozen works to his name.

Vasquez was born in the northern suburbs of Bogota Colombia in 1973 and had a rural and wild upbringing.
He was born to a father who was a brilliant lawyer who hoped he would follow in his footsteps and work in the law. Nonetheless, he was also quite the reader and often brought him all manner of books.

As a nine-year-old, his father gave him money after he completed the assignment of translating Pele’s biography into Spanish. He has said that it was the assignment strengthened his relationship with English and with books.
Juan Vasquez would then attend the Anglo-Colombia school in Bogota and then head to Bogota University to study law. Nonetheless, he had already decided that he would undertake a literary career.

Critically, he spent his childhood and early adulthood years in a Colombia synonymous with drug wars. He was born at a time when American businessmen were just getting into Colombia’s cocaine and making incredible profits.
The 80s and 90s which were his teenage years were some of the most violent periods as rival cartels took on the government with terrorist acts.

He would leave Colombia just as much of the urban violence was subsiding as Pablo Escobar the Medellin cartel boss was killed.

Juan Vasquez has said that the drug trade and the relationship it has with his country shaped his life.

When he left Colombia, it was to escape the violence and the effects it has on every aspect of society. He also left so that he could go live in Belgium and France where he could write.

While he was living in Paris, he got a wrong diagnosis of lymphatic cancer and for a while, he believed he had only a few weeks left to live. It happened to be that he only had severe but treatable TB.
Still, he has never gotten over the shock of the diagnosis and as such he often makes one of his minor characters have lymphatic cancer.

When he got married in 1999, he moved to Spain and went to the Sorbonne to study Latin American literature.

Living in Barcelona, he was part of literary fiction authors that enjoyed the boom of the sixties when Latin American authors were getting a lot of their works published.

The boom transformed the literary landscape as it challenged the view that literary works needed to follow Spanish tradition.

By giving more freedom to authors, the likes of Garcia Marquez were free to write about what they found closer to their experience.

“The Sound of Things Falling” by Juan Gabriel Vasquez is a critically acclaimed author of his generation and one of the biggest literary stars ever to come out of South America.

In this award-winning and gorgeously written novel, the author explores the history of Colombia his native country.

The lead in the story is Antonio Yammara who is living in Bogota the capital. In the present, he just read an article about a hippo that had gone missing from a zoo that was once in the hands of Pablo Escobar the legendary Colombian drug kingpin.
Reading the article, he is transported back in time to when the government force and the Medellin cartel fought violent battles in the streets of Colombia.

Back then he had been a witness to the murder of a friend and this tragic event still haunts his memories. As he conducts his investigations, he finds that the country’s violent past has shaped many aspects of his life and that of his friend.
His quest sees him going all the way back to the 1960s when the world was on the brink of change.

“Reputations” is a powerful novel by Juan Vasquez that tells the interesting story of one of the most renowned political cartoonists of his time.

Javier Mallarino is something of a legend in the industry and has often been referred to as the conscience of the nations and the most influential cartoonist.

With his pencil, he can overturn the decisions of judges of the highest courts, repeal laws, and destroy the careers of influential politicians. The people in power pay him homage and fear him, lest he uses his pencil against them.
He has had a very satisfying career and is now sixty-five, but is showing no signs of slowing down. But everything changes when his sense of personal history is upended following a visit by a young woman.

The information she gives forces him to reevaluate his work and life and he begins to question his position in the society he lives in.

Juan Vasquez Gabriel’s novel “The Shape of the Ruins” is a sweeping tale of twisted obsessions, assassinations, and conspiracy theories.

Only a few people notice when a nondescript man is taken in by the police when he attempted to make off with the bullet-riddled suit of assassinated Colombian politician.

Soon enough, the aborted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes central in an all-encompassing web of fixation with historical secrets, assassinations, and conspiracy theories.

Exploring the darkest moments of Colombia’s past, it brings to life the many ways through which present lives may be shaped by past violence.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Juan Gabriel Vásquez

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