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JUAN GABRIEL VÁSQUEZ

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The Shape of the Ruins

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE

A sweeping tale of conspiracy theories, assassinations, and twisted obsessions -- the much anticipated masterpiece from Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

The Shape of the Ruins is a masterly story of conspiracy, political obsession, and literary investigation. When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of popular fixations with conspiracy theories, assassinations, and historical secrets; and it haunts those who feel that only they know the real truth behind these killings.

This novel explores the darkest moments of a country's past and brings to life the ways in which past violence shapes our present lives. A compulsive read, beautiful and profound, eerily relevant to our times and deeply personal, The Shape of the Ruins is a tour-de-force story by a master at uncovering the incisive wounds of our memories.

About Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Photo: © Hermance Triay

Juan Gabriel Vásquez's previous books include the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner and national bestseller The Sound of Things Falling, and Man Booker International finalist The Shape of the Ruins, as well as the award-winning Reputations,The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana, and the story collection Lovers on All Saints' Day. His books have been published in twenty-eight languages worldwide. After sixteen years in Europe, he now lives in Bogotá.

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Other Books from Juan Gabriel Vásquez

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Reputations

A brilliant novel about the power of politics and personal memory from one of South America's literary stars, the New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Things Falling.

In Reputations, Juan Gabriel Vásquez examines the weight of the past, how a public persona intersects with private histories, and the burdens and surprises of memory. In this intimate novel that recalls authors like Coetzee and Ian McEwan, Vásquez plumbs universal experiences to create a masterful story, one that reverberates long after you turn the final page.

Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York TimesNewsweek, the Guardian, and Kirkus

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Lovers on All Saints' Day

From the award-winning, bestselling author of The Sound of Things Falling and Reputations, a brilliant collection of stories that showcases why he is one of the best writers—in any language—working today.

Set in Europe (the scene of Vásquez’s own self-imposed exile from Latin America) and never before available in English, this collection evokes a singular mood and a tone, and showcase Vásquez’s hypnotic writing. Vásquez is a humane, deeply insightful writer, and these stories leave one feeling transformed from the experience of reading them, with a greater vision of humanity and society, a greater understanding of relationships and of love.

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The Sound of Things Falling

An intimate portrayal of the drug wars in Colombia, from international fiction star Juan Gabriel Vasquez.

Vásquez is “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature,” according to Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing—and his literary star—even higher.

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The Secret History of Costaguana

“Unlike anything written by his Latin American contemporaries” (The Financial Times), The Informers secured Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s place as one of the most original and exuberantly talented novelist working today. Now he returns with an ingenious new novel of historical invention.

On the day of Joseph Conrad's death in 1924, the Colombian-born José Altamirano begins to write and cannot stop. Many years before, he confessed to Conrad his life's every delicious detail—from his country's heroic revolutions to his darkest solitary moments. Those intimate recollections became Nostromo, a novel that solidified Conrad’s fame and turned Altamirano’s reality into a work of fiction. Now Conrad is dead, but the slate is by no means clear—Nostromo will live on and Altamirano must write himself back into existence.

As the destinies of real empires collide with the murky realities of imagined ones, Vásquez takes us from a flourishing twentieth-century London to the lawless fury of a blooming Panama and back in a labyrinthine quest to reclaim the past—of both a country and a man.

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The Informers

"One of the most original new voices of Latin American literature." —Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

When Gabriel Santoro's book is scathingly reviewed by his own father, a famous Bogotá rhetorician, Gabriel is devastated. Cataloguing the life of longtime family friend Sara Guterman, a Jewish German immigrant who escaped to Colombia during the 1930s, Gabriel's book seemed an innocent attempt to preserve a piece of his country's rapidly vanishing past. But as Gabriel pours over his research looking for clues to his father's anger, he discovers a sinister secret locked in the pages. After his father's death, and with the help of Sara Guterman and his father's girlfriend, Angelina, Gabriel peels back layer after shocking layer of family history-from the streets of 1940s Bogotá to a stranger's doorstep in 1990s Medellín-to reveal a hidden portrait of their past-dark, complex, and inescapable.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed as one of the leading writers of his generation, compared to Borges, John Le Carre, Joseph Conrad and W. G. Sebald.

Contact

For publicity inquiries in the U.S.:

Glory Plata
Riverhead Books | Penguin Random House
(212) 366-2575
gplata@penguinrandomhouse.com