Top 10 books about Colombia
Hysterical and horrifying, this is one of the best books about childhood I’ve ever read. Abandoned by her mother and raised in a convent, Reyes’ life has to be read to be believed. Written as a series of letters to a friend, this memoir is similar to Shuggie Bain and Angela’s Ashes in its steadfast refusal to sentimentalise, and its commitment to telling the truth. What’s even more astonishing is what isn’t included: Reyes’ life as a painter in Europe, and the murder of her infant child in Paraguay.
10. Virus Tropical by Powerpaola, translated by Jamie Richards
This graphic novel by the Ecuadorian-born cartoonist is set in my home town of Cali and deserves a wider audience. With artwork reminiscent of Persepolis, Virus Tropical is a wonderful coming-of-age story that humorously captures all the ups and downs of a young woman aspiring to become an artist. It was also recently adapted into an animated film, which is very much worth watching.