Tales from the Town of Widows

James Cañón

The women of Mariquita – made widows when their men are swept away by the army or rebel forces – learn hard lessons about love and survival. Forced to grow in extraordinary ways, they challenge the tenets of male-dominated society, discover power with all its pitfalls and strive to create an entirely new social order, an all-female utopia. Their narrative is punctuated by short vignettes of the individual travails of the men and boys – left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries, national army officers and civilians – caught amidst these hellish forces.

For the first 18 years of his life, the author, James Cañón, lived in his native Colombia and this pitch-perfect book – darkly comedic, its characters brilliantly etched – is a mighty achievement, an entirely fresh, startling perspective to Colombia’s catastrophe where the longest and bloodiest civil war in this hemisphere has raged for 40 years.

Reviews of Tales from the Town of Widows

  • ‘A beautifully crafted book…The stories are told with a Marquez-like sense of the surreal but reveal a ghastly quality.’ Metro

    ‘A beautifully crafted story…a fresh, startling perspective on a long and bloody conflict’ Herald