18th Century thriller set mainly in Stockholm
Songs for the Flames
Location(s): Colombia, Spain
Genre(s): Short Stories
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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