The University of Wisconsin Press

Fiction / Latin America


The Flight of the Condor
Stories of Violence and War from Colombia
Translated and compiled by Jennifer Gabrielle Edwards
Foreword by Hugo Chaparro Valderrama

The Americas, Ilan Stavans and Irene Vilar, Series Editors

"The dead in Colombia refuse to rest quietly."
–Ilan Stavans

After decades of violence of all kinds, what remains are the stories. History is revised and debated, its protagonists bear witness, its writers ensure that all the suffering has not been in vain. These stories from Colombia contain pain and love, and sometimes even humor, allowing us to see an utterly vibrant and pulsating country amidst so much death and loss. We encounter townspeople overcome by fear, a man begging unsuccessfully for his life, an execution delayed for Christmas, the sounds and smells of burning coffee plantations, and other glimpses of daily life.

This anthology reflects some of Colombia's finest literary talent, and most of these stories appear here for the first time in English translation. They reveal the contradictions and complexities of the human condition, yet they also offer hope for the future. In their bold revelations of the depths of despair, these writers provide gripping portrayals of humanity's tenacious resistance to those very depths.

"From the war, what keeps coming back to me, most vividly, is the day we buried our weapons. And the worst of it is that our weapons are still there, waiting for us. At the foot of the fig tree. I'd like to find the boys who have the same itch now that I had. I'd like to take them over there, to the Meta River, where so many years ago we buried the treasure. Ten rifles, an FA assault rifle, and a Thompson machine gun are a good start. I'd like to say to them, 'There you have it; go after it, boys, go after it. It's your party now.'"
excerpt from "The Day We Buried Our Weapons" by Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza

The Americas
Ilan Stavans and Irene Vilar, Series Editors

This is a photo of Jennifer Gabrielle EdwardsJennifer Gabrielle Edwards has published translations in Michigan Quarterly Review, Metamorphoses, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Indiana Review, and BorderSenses and has translated several novels, screenplays, essays, collections of poetry, and short stories. She is Assistant Manager of Medical Interpreter Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.

Hernando Téllez
Juan Carlos Botero
Álvaro Cepeda Samudio
Nicolás Suescún
Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza
Mario Mendoza Zambrano
Arturo Echeverri Mejía
Germán Espinosa
Manuel Mejía Vallejo
Roberto Montes Mathieu
Harold Kremer
Germán Santamaría
Heriberto Fiorillo
Darío Ruiz Gómez
Julio Paredes
Policarpo Varón
Celso Román
Evelio Rosero Diago
Juan Fernando Merino

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

The cover of Edwards book is illustrated with a quill pen feather stuck in a map. Ink, or blood, runs out of the tip.

September 2007

LC: 2007011784 PQ
184 pp.  6 x 9

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Paper $26.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22364-9
Cloth $65.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22360-1
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