Stranger to the Moon
Fiction by Evelio Rosero
Translated from the Spanish by Victor Meadowcroft Anne McLean
The writer Evelio Rosero has never been one to shy away from the darker aspects of Colombia’s history and society. His magnificent Stranger to the Moon portrays a world that seems to exist outside history and geography, but taps into the dark myths and collective subconscious of his country’s harrowing inequality and violence. A parable of pointed social criticism, with naked humans imprisoned in a house 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. Each subsequent section of the book adds further layers to the ritualistic and bizarre social order that its characters inhabit. Trained insects and reptiles spy on all the naked-ones, and only the most fortunate reach old age (often by taking up strategic spots near the kitchen and grabbing for the fiercely contested food). Stranger to the Moon is a powerfully brave and distinctive novel by a writer who is arguably Colombia’s greatest living author.