Shelves: 5-star-books , magical-realism , nhhp , novel , poc , realistic-fiction In the past, books have earned five stars, but after reading such poetic prose, magical description, and such painful longing, there has to be a category for more than five stars. Excellence is an easy word to bandy about. Some other adjective must describe this book. The narrator, who remains unnamed throughout the novella, tells us of her longing for Three Sevens, and in turn of his longing for Matilde Lina. Set against an Armageddon of violence and massacres, In the past, books have earned five stars, but after reading such poetic prose, magical description, and such painful longing, there has to be a category for more than five stars.
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Early life[ edit ] Laura Restrepo is the older of two sisters. Her grandfather was self-educated and spoke six languages. Her father left school age of 13 to go out to work before becoming a businessman. According to Restrepo, her father would take her and her mother with him on his business travels and they never stayed long enough in one place to attend a full year of school. Once she attended a public school in California for only one day because her father took the family somewhere else the next day.
When she was around ten years old her formal education consisted of six months at a ceramics night school in Denmark. When she and her family went to Madrid the school did not accept her because she failed the required admission tests for arithmetic, grammar, sewing, and embroidery. So instead she went to a flamenco guitar teacher. Her father took her to visit museums, theaters, ruins, and to climb volcanoes and watch geysers.
By the time she was 14 she was reading books but did not know the full multiplication table. Soon after she got her diploma she enrolled at the University of the Andes, Colombia. In her sophomore year in college, at the age of 16, she wrote "that beyond the nuclear family and the land of wonders that is high culture, there lay a whole universe to be explored that was broad and remote, fierce and exciting.
She gave up her teaching job and got involved in Colombian politics before joining the Socialist Workers Party in Spain, then soon went to Argentina for four years where she was part of the underground resistance that opposed the military dictatorship. After three years with the Socialist Workers Party in Madrid she became a journalist. She began writing in love, memory, and just to get the feeling of being close to him again. She returned to Colombia after three years in the Spanish Socialist Workers Party and began writing for Semana, a magazine, in the national and international politics section.
During this time she traveled to different places including Grenada to report on the invasion and to the Nicaragua-Honduras border to report on the war between the Sandinistas and the Contras.
Although feeling lucky to be acquainted with him she also criticized him for his writing style of magic realism. Restrepo voiced her opinions loudly over the failing peace treaties and the conflict that was going and received death threats and was forced into a six-year exile in Mexico. Many of the investigations she did ended up as plots or ideas in many of her novels. She wrote this novel while she was in Mexico, seeing as she missed Colombia so much she decided to begin a story. This novel started with a story that Restrepo had been sent to cover a story about two families trying to kill each other.
Eventually she finds out they were involved in the drug cartels in Colombia. She uses religious beings in this novel when in fact she never had formal religious training. Restrepo has won several awards for this novel. She often appears as a guest speaker at political forums and universities.
She also teaches months every year at the University of Seville. When she is not teaching, she is usually writing and speaking at academic institutions or forums.
General writing style[ edit ] Laura Restrepo tried to find a style of writing that fit her, eventually developing a mix of reality and fiction to create a style she calls "report style". In her work, she uses history and investigative journalism woven together. Restrepo says, "I needed a formula that would allow me to slightly violate the verifiable facts so that my personal interpretation would not be offensive, and this explains the dual character of the chapters, some strictly investigative, others with license to lie a little.
She intertwines mystery, love, and relationships to capture the interest of her readers. She writes about the daily struggle to survive in a country where society is damaged by war and corruption.
Her novels have at least one obstacle to overcome where the main character must show strong will in order to battle their obstacles; however, sometimes it is easier for them to do so with help from a loved one. In an interview with Jaime Manrique she recounted how her father read her stories from these authors. She explains that these authors are ones that are concerned with the dignity of others, the ability to show empathy even though times are tough, and "the solidarity and ironbound links of clan.
This novel speaks of President Belisario Betancur and her own struggle with death threats and 5 years of exile. Because she was involved in negotiating peace between the two groups in , this gives a firsthand account of what was going on and how everyone was going to change the world. The group starts their lives on the island until the revolution and World War I leave them without any supplies.
Restrepo based this novel on a true story. After four decades only a few men are still living. Restrepo uses a singular narrative with interruptions from others. Family hierarchy, destruction of sudden wealth, and the difference between fact and fiction are the issues that arise in this novel. She uses religion and comedy in this novel, unlike her traditional tragic novels. She falls in love with the angel, but ends up realizing that she wants a common man as a soul mate, not an angel.
Multiple things happen that cause people to speculate that this angel is real. Chaos breaks out and the novel has folkloric, feminist, spiritual and political themes in it. She is in charge of La Catunga, the place where employees of the Tropical Oil Company "visit" prostitutes. Sayonara falls in love with two workers—Sacramento, whom she loves only as a brother, and Payanes as a lover. However, Payanes is married and Sacramento wants to save Sayonara from prostitution.
Her love story surfaces through the townspeople and the journalistic style that the narrator takes. She offers room and board to one of the men, named Three Sevens, and falls in love with him. However, she must compete with the woman Three Sevens is searching for—Matilde Lina, the woman who saved and raised him. The two were forced apart during the Little War when he was only a teenager and he is now desperately trying to find her. This is the beginning of a love triangle that takes place during a time when people are forced to relocate and can only search for a "promise land.
They fall in love on a trip to Egypt but are soon forced apart by their parents. They begin secretly talking and eventually meet again. Restrepo shows that love is true even if it is forbidden. While he searches for answers to save Agustina, he learns vague secrets about her past. The main characters are Lorenza, a Colombian, and Mateo, her son. At the same time, Lorenza recounts to Mateo both the stories of the split between her and Ramon as well as their love story.
The novel shows the differences between the worldview of the characters and attempts to paint a picture from the inside of the movement of those who were resisting the dictatorship. Set in the United States. She won the Grinzane Cavour Prize in Italy for best foreign fiction in In she won the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.
Ensayo del libro “La Multitud Errante” de Laura Restrepo