Tales from the Town of Widows: and Chronicles from the Land of Men

By James Cañón

From a new literary star comes a beautifully crafted story about a group of women in a Colombian village who find their lives changed while their husbands and sons are away fighting a deadly civil war.

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.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 01 May 2007
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-00-724109-5
James Cañón received his MFA from Columbia University in May 2004. Recipient of the 2001 Henfield Prize for fiction and finalist in the 2002 International Rolex Award, James has been awarded fellowships from Columbia, MacDowell, Yaddo, Ucross, Millay and the Blue Mountain Center.

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