This time around, we have the pleasure of writing about something that takes place well Beyond Bogota, beyond the Atlantic and in the city of London. We were invited by author Victoria Kellaway to an event in the Colombian consulate to showcase the recently published collection, Was Gabo an Irishman? luckily we had someone on the ground and managed to attend the event, hear parts of the book read by the authors, share some wine and a pleasant conversation and talk about the book and the experiences of those who see Colombia through the eyes of a newcomer.
The book toys with the idea of Gabo as an Irishman, in one of those wonderful games of What If, and realizes that this Colombian Nobel prize laureate has gather the magic in his surrounding and created something that could’ve just as easily come out of Irish stories and folklore. The fact that he wrote about his home land from abroad strikes a chord with the writers of the book, who have all come to a different land to explore their own stories.
The book is in the end an homage to this literary giant, as 26 expats tell their stories of their own encounters with magical realism and the Colombian context. They all have anecdotes to tell, in which reality overcomes fiction and the most unlikely of situations make a part of everyday life. It is a great dialogue between the cultures, and a must read for anyone who wants a fresh and brilliant perspective of Colombian life and literature, straying from the usual topics addressed in books about the country.
You can find the book in Amazon, and in La Madriguera del Conejo at carrera 11 N°. 85-52 and at the Book Hotel at carrera 5 N°. 57-79