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The Shape of the Ruins, by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, reviewed

16 June 2018

9:00 AM

16 June 2018

9:00 AM

What makes Colombia remind me of Ireland? It’s not only the soft rain that falls from grey skies on the emerald uplands around Bogotá. In both countries, ingrained habits of courtesy and charm can smooth over the jagged rifts left by a history of strife.

Raised in Bogotá, and living there again after a decade in Barcelona, Juan Gabriel Vásquez writes novels in which elegant mazes of legend and rumour lead, step by graceful step, into the guilty secrets of ‘this country sick with hatred’.

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