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  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press

The Shape of the Ruins

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

The most ambitious and rewarding novel to date by the acclaimed Colombian author

"Like Don DeLillo's JFK-themed Libra, the novel is an intoxicating blend of fact and fiction" Glasgow Herald

"A masterful writer" Nicole Krauss

"A highly sophisticated, fast-moving political thriller set in Colombia and an excellent read" Alan Furst

"A dazzlingly choreographed network of echoes and mirrorings" T.L.S.

It takes the form of personal and formal investigations into two political assassinations - the murders of Rafael Uribe Uribe in 1914, the man who inspired Garcia Marquez's General Buendia in One Hundred Years of Solitude, and of the charismatic Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, the man who might have been Colombia's J.F.K., gunned down on the brink of success in the presidential elections of 1948. Separated by more than 30 years, the two murders at first appear unconnected, but as the novel progresses Vasquez reveals how between them they contain the seeds of the violence that has bedevilled Colombia ever since.

The Shape of the Ruins is Vasquez's most ambitious, challenging and rewarding novel to date. His previous novel, The Sound of Things Falling, won Spain's Alfaguara Prize, Italy's Von Rezzori Prize and the 2014 Dublin IMPAC literary Award.

Winner of the Premio Literario Casino da Povoa 2018
Finalist for the Bienal de Novela Mario Vargas Llosa 2016
Finalist for the Premio Bottari Lattes Grinzane 2017
Finalist for the Prix Femina
Finalist for the Prix Medicis

Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean

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Praise for The Shape of the Ruins

  • Like Don DeLillo's JFK-themed Libra, the novel is an intoxicating blend of fact and fiction - Glasgow Herald

  • Beautifully voiced by his serial translator Anne McLean, Vasquez writes with the elliptical feints and ruses of a story-teller who admires Joseph Conrad in his most delphic moods. The result is sly, subtle, captivating. - Spectator.

  • The most famous novelist to come out of Colombia since Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His subtle, nuanced fiction uses the tools of documentary reportage - historical sleuthing and interviews with witnesses - to steer readers through the nation's labyrinthine past - 1843 Mag (Economist)

  • This clever, labyrinthine, thoroughly enjoyable historical novel by the Colombian author of The Informers and The Sound of Things Falling entangles the two deaths and investigates the internecine politics that lay behind them. - Guardian

  • Assembled with satisfying complexity . . . it's his most ambitious and accomplished work yet. - Prospect

  • For anyone who has read the entire works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and is in search of a new Colombian novelist, then Juan Gabriel Vasquez . . . is a thrilling new discovery. - Guardian.

  • Juan Gabriel Vasquez's The Shape of the Ruins is a highly sophisticated, fast-moving political thriller set in Colombia and an excellent read

  • Juan Gabriel Vasquez's latest and most ambitious novel.... A dazzlingly choreographed network of echoes and mirrorings - Times Literary Supplement

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Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Juan Gabriel Vasquez was born in Bogota in 1973. His previous books include the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner and international bestseller The Sound of Things Falling, as well as The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana and Reputations, which was awarded the Royal Spanish Academy Prize. He has translated works by Joseph Conrad, John Dos Passos and Victor Hugo, amongst others. His books have been translated in twenty-eight languages and forty countries. In 2016 he was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et de Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. After sixteen years in France, Belgium and Spain, he now lives in Bogota.

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