Liliana Colanzi

Image by Isabel Wagemann

Liliana Colanzi

Liliana Colanzi was born in Santa Cruz in Bolivia and has published three collections of short stories. She teaches Latin American literature at Cornell University. She is the founder of Dum Dum publishing house in Bolivia, an indie press focusing on fiction that mixes genres and “has a foot in the jungle and another one on Mars.” She won the 2015 Aura Estrada Prize, awarded to women writers under 35 who live in the USA, Canada or in Latin America and who write in Spanish, and You Glow In The Dark (Ustedes brillan en lo oscuro) won the prestigious Ribera del Duero Prize 2022.

Photo credit: Isabel Wagemann


cover image of the book You Glow in the Dark

You Glow in the Dark

The seven stories of You Glow in the Dark unfold in a Latin America wrecked and poisoned by human greed, and yet Colanzi’s writing—at once sleek and dense, otherworldly and intensely specific—casts an eerily bright spell over the wreckage. Some stories seem to be set in a near future; all are superbly executed and yet hard to pin down; they often leave the reader wondering: Was that realistic or fantastic? Colanzi draws power from Andean cyberpunk just as much as from classic horror writers, and this daring is matched by her energizing simultaneous use of multiplicity and fragmentation—the book’s stylistic trademarks. Freely mixing worlds, she uses the Bolivian altiplano as the backdrop for an urban dystopia and blends Aymara with Spanish. Colanzi never gets bogged down; she can be brutal and direct or light-handed and subtle. Her materials are dark, but always there’s the lift of her vivid sense of humor. You Glow in the Dark seizes the reader’s attention (from the title on) and holds it: this is a book that announces the arrival of a major new talent.

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