Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Resident from 22 - 25 January 2012.
"Our favourite novels are like buildings we know well: who lives where, where do which stairs lead, how to reach the basement. Today, however, Heart of Darkness is not a building, but a steamboat in which I’ve been sailing all my writing life and whose private geography — its pilot-house, its cabin, its messroom — I know as well as the house I grew up in."
Photograph by Nina Soubin
Juan Gabriel Vásquez was born in Bogotá in 1973. He studied Latin American literature at the Sorbonne between 1996 and 1998, and now lives in Barcelona. He was recently nominated as one of the Bogota 39, South America’s most promising writers of the new generation. The Informers (Bloomsbury, 2008), Vásquez's first novel to be translated into English, was shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. It was followed in 2011 by The Secret History of Costaguana, establishing Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s reputation as one of the leading novelists of his generation.
“For any novelist, the prospect of working on the Roi des Belges would be intriguing; for a devotee of Conrad, it is nothing short of magical. The ghosts of Kurtz and Marlow will mingle with the million ghosts of London, which is not a city, but a metaphor. In my days on board, I hope to discover what it stands for.” - Juan Gabriel Vásquez, prior to his time aboard A Room for London
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