When Ingrid Betancourt was freed last summer after six years held hostage by Colombian guerrillas, Evelio Rosero's thoughts were with the kidnap victims still in captivity. Most are ordinary citizens, seized by guerrillas, paramilitaries or criminal thugs for ransom, not the "jewels in the crown", as the French-Colombian politician and her three American companions were known. "We are all happy," Rosero told me in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, "But she's one among many, and we must not forget all the rest."
Rosero's concern for civilians caught up in more than four decades of fratricidal conflict spurred his winning book, The Armies. He has written short stories and children's books. This is his seventh novel, published in Spanish in 2006 and his first to be translated into English. In 2006, he won Colombia's National Literature Prize, awarded by the culture ministry.
15 May 2009
Evelio Rosero and Anne McLean
win the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize!: