Juan Gabriel Vásquez


The project I intend to develop while at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination is a novel. It will be based on my reconstruction of the life of the artist Feliza Bursztyn and of a series of real events, carried out through interviews and journalistic work, but interpreted through the lens (the language, the strategies) of fiction.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Bogotá, 1973) is the author of two collections of short stories, Lovers on All Saints’ Day and Songs for the Flames, and of six novels: The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana, The Sound of Things Falling, Reputations, The Shape of the Ruins and Retrospective. He has also published two books of literary essays: El arte de la distorsión and Viajes con un mapa en blanco. His books are currently published in 30 languages and have won, among others, the Premio Alfaguara, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori-Città di Firenze, the IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award, the Premio Real Academia Española, the Premio Casa de Amèrica Latina de Lisboa, the Premio Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana, the Prix Roger Caillois, the Premio bienal de Novela Mario Vargas Llosa, and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger. He has translated works by Joseph Conrad and Victor Hugo, among others, and has won two Simón Bolívar awards for his work as a journalist. His opinion columns appear in the Spanish newspaper El País. In 2016 he was named chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic; in 2018 he was awarded the Order of Isabel la Católica by the King of Spain; in 2022 he was distinguished in the United Kingdom as International Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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