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Colombia

Santiago Gamboa

© D. Mordzinski

Santiago Gamboa

Novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Santiago Gamboa was born in Colombia in 1965. His American debut, published by Europa in 2012, was the novel Necropolis, winner of the Otra Orilla Literary Prize. He is also the author of Night Prayers (Europa, 2016) and Return to the Dark Valley (Europa 2018). 

All Santiago Gamboa's books

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Two Europa titles are included in the nominees: Santiago Gamboa, Return to the Dark Valley and Nicola Lagioia, Ferocity.

Latest reviews

  • …prose that seduces, shocks and takes the reader on a unique journey, featuring a gallery of larger than life characters from all walks of life in all their splendour and fallibilities. Treat yourself.
    — Crime Time, May 16 2018
  • Santiago Gamboa’s “Return to the Dark Valley” is a very accessible work of postmodern noir shot through with philosophy and poetry. Among the characters populating this polyphonic novel are Tertullian, an Argentinian neo-fascist who claims paternity from the Pope...
    — Qunfuz, Jan 21 2018
  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Colombian author Gamboa made his initial bow in English with Night Prayers, a fascinating, existential quest by a namelss diplomat to prove the innocence of and free a compatriot held on a drugs charge in an overseas jail, but who ends up in an ambiguous...
    — Crimetime, Nov 18 2017
  • Internationally acclaimed Colombian novelist, philologist, journalist and former diplomat Santiago Gamboa talks to Sean Kitching about the paradox of evil, Michel Houellebecq and the question of the afterlife
    — The Quietus, Oct 2 2017
  • “It’s good to write in the middle of a storm,” says the consul while conceding that it might not be ethical, which is why he focuses on the French poet Arthur Rimbaud in his own work.
    — Library Journal, Sep 7 2017
  • New UK publications in September, poetry books buying binge and #WIT month purchases
    — Eric Anderson - Youtube, Sep 4 2017
  • This splendid South American novel has been overlooked by most crime and mystery reviewers and deserves to be brought to the attention of a larger public. Unashamedly literary and structured in unconventional ways and with an added dash of third world politics reminding the reader...
    — Crimetime, Aug 17 2017
  • Santiago Gamboa’s novel, Volver al oscuro valle, takes you on a journey with cosmopolitan Colombians who are still haunted by war.
    — The Wire, Jun 4 2017
  • Night Prayers is the story of three Colombian characters and their encounters with four Asian cultures. The Colombian protagonists are philosophy student Manuel, his adventurous sister Juana and a diplomat posted in New Delhi. India, Thailand, Japan and Iran are the countries...
    — The Wire, Jun 3 2017
  • Talking Bangkok, Bogotá and diplomat detectives with the author of the year’s most ambitious, riveting crime story
    — Electric Literature, Sep 1 2016
  • For more than five decades, novelists in Colombia have been confronted with two legacies: that of Gabriel García Márquez (who, as his compatriot Jorge Franco remarked to the New York Times, established a precedent for “flying grandmothers and other magic” in the minds of...
    — The Times Literary Magazine, May 26 2016
  • I am in love with Night Prayers by Santiago Gamboa. I think Gamboa is one of the greatest writers of our time
    — Miami Herald, May 4 2016
  • I came to Bangkok intending to remember. To look again at what I lived through in this city a few years ago, but in another light. Sometimes, time is a question of light. With the passing of the years, while some forms become strangely opaque, others acquire brilliance. They...
    — SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH BOOKS, Mar 8 2016
  • Night Prayers is a novel that is a bit hard to pin down. There are multiple voices telling their stories (some, in part, only loosely parts of the story as a whole). One is the twenty-seven-year-old Colombian, Manuel Manrique, who sets the story into motion, getting himself arrested...
    — Complete Review, Mar 3 2016
  • NECROPOLIS is a strange and wonderful novel. Colombian author Santiago Gamboa sets the stage as he has an author, who is not named, invited to the International Congress of Biography and Memory. Gamboa puts into motion the cast of characters in a hotel in Jerusalem, just...
    — Dec 13 2012
  • Lured by both the book’s title and an image of a hotel hallway, luxurious and empty, I entered the graveyard frame story of Santiago Gamboa’s newest novel, Necropolis. The Colombian author composes a polyphonic narrative from an unnamed author invited to the International...
    — Dec 11 2012
  • Memory, meaning and mortality This ambitious literary work centers around a mysterious death at a conference in Jerusalem, but frequently embarks on side trips that reveal the lives of a porn star and a cult founder, among other lecturers at the event. With “Necropolis,”...
    — Nov 9 2012
  • In this novel the Colombian writer Santiago Gamboa takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride, criss-crossing from the Americas to Italy to Israel and pulling the reader along at such a pace that there is hardly time to draw breath. In the company of a lesser writer the reader...
    — Sep 1 2012
  • “These fateful years that it has befallen us to live through would be more suitable for seclusion and solitude, [but] the intellect must continue its work in the midst of the most horrifying circumstances, it’s always been that way, and today more than ever, when...
    — Jul 14 2012
  • The International Conference on Biography and Memory is being held in Jerusalem, and our nameless hero, "a working writer," is honored to be invited after a hiatus from writing due to illness. When he arrives, he is shocked to find the city torn apart by war: "Facing us was...
    — Jul 10 2012

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