Evelio Rosero: Sandra Paez

Evelio Rosero

Evelio Rosero was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1958. He was awarded Colombia’s National Literature Prize by the Ministry of Culture in 2006 for his body of work, which includes several novels, short story collections, and books for young readers and children. The Armies, Rosero’s first novel to be translated into English, won the Tusquets International Prize and the 2009 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Toño the Infallible

Fiction by Evelio Rosero

Translated from the Spanish by Victor Meadowcroft Anne McLean

I was alone when someone pounded on my door. Who could it be? So begins Toño the Infallible, Evelio Rosero’s gripping novel about an intense relationship between a writer and a sociopath. Visited by his friend (a kind of Colombian Rasputin) seemingly at the verge of death, the writer, Eri, looks back on the arc of both of their lives. Unique in both its tone and its structure, the novel takes us from their student days (school fights, playground revelations, and an unforgettable trip to the seaside) into their adult years, involving rumors of a hippie cult and a bizarre raucous theater exhibit of history’s most violent crimes.…
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Stranger to the Moon

The renowned Colombian writer Evelio Rosero has never been one to shy away from the darker aspects of his nation’s history and society. His magnificent novel Stranger to the Moon portrays a world that seems to exist outside time and place but taps into the dark myths and collective subconscious of his country, with its harrowing inequality and violence. A parable of pointed social criticism, with naked humans imprisoned in a house in order to serve the needs of “the vicious clothed ones,” the novel describes what ensues when a single “naked one” privately rebels, risking his own death and that of his fellow prisoners.…
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Good Offices

by Evelio Rosero

Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean Anna Milsom

Tancredo, a young hunchback, observes and participates in the rites at the Catholic church where he lives under the care of Father Almida. Also in residence are the sexton Celeste Machado, his goddaughter Sabina Cruz, and three widows known collectively as the Lilias, who do the cooking and cleaning and provide charity meals for the local poor and needy. One Thursday, Father Almida and the sexton must rush off to meet the parish’s principal benefactor, Don Justiniano.…
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The Armies

by Evelio Rosero

Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean

Ismail, the profesor, is a retired teacher in a small Colombian town where he passes the days pretending to pick oranges while spying on his neighbor Geraldina as she lies naked in the shade of a ceiba tree on a red floral quilt. The garden burns with sunlight; the macaws laugh sweetly. Otilia, Ismail’s wife, is ashamed of his peeping and suggests that he pay a visit to Father Albornoz. Instead, Ismail wanders the town visiting old friends, plagued by a tangle of secret memories: Where have I existed these years?…
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Evelio Rosero is one of the most important and innovative Colombian writers working today. His voice is essential, in terms of using fiction to make sense and shed light on Colombia’s violent past and present. Toño the Infallible is a valuable contribution to Rosero’s oeuvre: the novel takes us on one darkly picaresque adventure after another, with the disturbingly twisted titular character. Like Patrick Bateman and Amy Dunne, Toño easily joins the ranks of memorable literary villains. With this novel Rosero has proven himself as an author decidedly unafraid to ask difficult questions about the nature and origin of evil and cruelty. This is a brave, uncompromising, and unforgettable work.
—Julianne Pachico
Rosero affirms unashamedly that literature can and should change social reality.
—Antonio Ungar, Bomb
Rosero’s prose, translated with lyricism by McLean and Meadowcroft, conveys the characters’ horrifying human nature with aplomb.
Publishers Weekly
He affirms unashamedly that literature can and should change social reality, and that this is one of its main functions, something practically none of his colleagues would now dare to say, at risk of seeming too engaged.
—Antonio Ungar, BOMB
The Armies is a disturbing allegory of life during wartime, in which little appears to happen while at the same time entire lives and worlds collapse. This is an important and powerful book.
(London) Times
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