The Shape of the Ruins
Juan Gabriel Vasquez
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From the publisher
Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019
"Like Don DeLillo's JFK-themed Libra, the novel is an intoxicating blend of fact and fiction" Glasgow Herald
"A masterful writer" Nicole Krauss
"Vasquez has succeeded Garcia Marquez as the literary grandmaster of Colombia" Ariel Dorfman, New York Review of Books
"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