My Kirkus review has arrived!

“Slyly pushing the envelope Aristophanes opened with Lysistrata, debut novelist Cañón exultantly sets up the sage of Colombian women on top.
It’s a humdrum 1990s Sunday in Mariquita when—poof!—all the men are gone. Yet another gang of Marx-lite rebels and Che-wannabes is fomenting yet another Colombian revolution, shanghaiing anyone with testicles into its motley ranks. Stealing off with every woman’s husband, all the rice and the town’s single Commie true believer (a schoolteacher who’d coaxed the citizenry into naming kids Hochiminh and Trotsky), the pistoleros depart. The women who remain are marvelous. Matriarch Doña Victoria has three daughters with weird, fairy-tale attributes. Orquidea boasts chin warts that “looked like golden raisins.” Gardenia gives off a “carrion-like stench.” Those two are virgins; their roguish sister Magnolia has “the legs of a man, hairy and muscular.” Doña Victoria saves her only son, Julio César, by dressing him in his sisters’ first communion dress; after the danger has passed, he decides he digs the new look and opts for permanent curls and skirts. Other vivid personalities include Rosalba, the police sergeant’s widow, who takes over as magistrate and tries to toughen up the women mourning the loss of their men. (She plans an edict: “Prohibit the use of the word ‘help.’ ”) Joining with Rosalba, sage/crone/schoolteacher Cleotilde hopes to rewrite history and usher in a new era, complete with time told by the menstrual cycle and months renamed after Mariquita’s strongest women. At first, this fresh HerLand falters. The power goes out; famine threatens. Just as the ladies are moving from baby steps to great strides, a shocking development unfolds. After nearly 20 years, four men return. Paradise lost? Or Paradise regained?
Prime Magic realism à la Márquez, Cortázar and Vargas Llosa, updated with a pop-culture twist.”
Kirkus Reviews

» Posted by Santiago, on Tue, November 21, 2006
» category: Press
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I was in the Netherlands last week for…

...the release of my novel in Dutch. I had been once to Holland before, a number of years ago. This time, however, as a soon-to be-published author (one who doesn’t have to pay for his plane tickets, hotel or meals, Holland looked different: more charming. I didn’t see much of it, though. I spent my first day and a half in my hotel in Amsterdam, where all seven interviews my Dutch publicist (Esther Brandt) had arranged for me were conducted. Esther, by the way, is a lovely girl. She looks 22 though she assured me she’s much older. Just as lovely is my Dutch editor, Judith Uyterlinde. Both Esther and Judith are wonderful hostesses true to their Dutch strightforwardness reputation. They managed, in a matter of hours, to ask me a question that my mother only asked when I turned 33 and was still single. 
My “performance” (reading plus interview) at the Crossing Border Festival went well. It was pouring that night in The Hague, and so we got but a small crowd. My interviewer was Arjan Visser, a very nice Dutch writer who shamelessly asked me very personal questions in front of the audience. Arjan: if you read this—and I hope you do—you owe me one. After the event, I signed a few autographs at the festival’s improvised bookstore. The four-day festival was a complete hit. Among the authors were William Boyd, Vikram Chandra, Rick Moody, M.J. Hyland and Benjamin Kunkel. By the way, I shared a cab back to the airport with M.J. Hyland. What a sweet and genuine woman she is. I liked her immediately, and hope we can share more than a cab ride some time soon.

» Posted by Santiago, on Tue, November 21, 2006
» category: News
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Dutch edition of Tales from the Town of Widows has just been released.

Het Dorp van de Weduwen (The village of widows) was released on Thursday, November 16th, during the prestigious Crossing Border Festival in The Hague. The novel, published by Meulenhoff, is part of a Dutch series called Literatura Latina, which includes world-known authors like García Márquez, Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes and Juan Rulfo.

» Posted by Santiago, on Sat, November 18, 2006
» category: Press
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