‘A Storm Waiting to Happen’: A Colombian Writer Watches His Home From Afar

Juan Gabriel Vásquez sees his new story collection, “Songs for the Flames,” as part of a thriving literary landscape in Colombia because, he said, “places in conflict produce fiction.”

By Anderson Tepper

In the opening story of his new collection, “Songs for the Flames,” Juan Gabriel Vásquez writes about a war photojournalist who returns to a stretch of the Colombian countryside where, 20 years earlier, the casualties of the bloody conflict between paramilitary and guerrilla forces floated in a nearby river.

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