In Bogotá, a taut, moving novel set in present-day Colombia, Wilfredo decides to uproot his family from their small town, where his ferry service on the river subjects him to the gruesome errands demanded by the local paramilitary. Moving in with relatives in a slum in Bogotá, the family tries desperately to achieve the smallest measure of comfort and hope in a world of almost total ruin, wracked by deprivation, fear, and ceaseless violence.
Alan Grostephan depicts with startling immediacy an urban landscape of extreme harshness and oppressive instability. The tension between the desperate conditions surrounding his characters and their efforts to hold on to their humanity gives Bogotá a ferocious energy. As Wilfredo and his family fight to stay alive and stay together, their plight emerges as equally enraging and uplifting, constituting a portrait of a society always on the verge of disintegration.
"Starred Review. With unflinching brutality and rawness, this remarkably executed debut novel achieves a highly original, catchy prose - often mingling Spanish slang throughout its hardboiled, supercharged narrative." - Publishers Weekly
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Alan Grostephan has published his work in various journals, including Faultline and Orange Coast Review. He translated and edited Stories of Life and Death (2005), a collection of poetry and fiction by emerging Colombian writers.
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