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Songs for the Flames

Songs for the Flames

Author(s): Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Anne McLean (Translator)

Location(s): Colombia, Spain

Genre(s): Short Stories

Era(s): Various

Location

Content

A morally complex, searing set of stories by the award-winning author of The Sound of Things Falling and The Shape of the Ruins (shortlisted for the Booker International Prize 2019).

A renowned photographer probes a traumatic incident in the life of a fellow guest at a countryside ranch. A chance meeting at a regimental reunion obliges a Korean War veteran to confront a shameful secret. And in the title story, an internet search for a book published in 1887 leads to the discovery of the life of a remarkable woman: Aurelia de Léon, who arrives in Colombia as a child orphan of the Great War, but as a free-spirited adult runs foul of her adoptive country’s deep conservatism.

The characters in Songs for the Flames are all men and women touched by violence – sometimes directly, sometimes tangentially – but the lives of all of them are irrevocably changed by the experience.

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Book Reviews

Lead Review

Author: Tina Hartas

All of the stories in this collection are human, moral and universal in scope even as they are seated in the mundane existence of lives that are perhaps not that remarkable. ‘The Last Corrido’...

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