Return to the Dark Valley
Gritty Central and South American live from an underground Colombian literary voice.
Santiago Gamboa is one of Colombia’s most exciting young writers. In the manner of Roberto Bolaño, Gamboa infuses his kaleidoscopic, cosmopolitan stories with a dose of inky dark noir that makes his novels intensely readable, his characters unforgettable, and his style influential.
Manuela Beltrán, a woman haunted by a troubled childhood she tries to escape through books and poetry; Tertuliano, an Argentine preacher who claims to be the Pope’s son, ready to resort to extreme methods to create a harmonious society; Ferdinand Palacios, a Colombian priest with a dark paramilitary past now confronted with his guilt; Rimbaud, the precocious, brilliant poet whose life was incessant exploration; and, Juana and the consul, central characters in Gamboa’s Night Prayers, who are united in a relationship based equally on hurt and need. These characters animate Gamboa’s richly imagined portrait of a hostile, turbulent world where liberation is found in perpetual movement and determined exploration.