Author(s): Juan Gabriel Vasquez
Being economical with the truth allows a photographer to understand something of which she would have preferred to have remained ignorant. A chance meeting at a regimental reunion obliges a veteran of the Korean War to confront his past. A walk-on part in a Polanski film finds the narrator searching the director's face for signs of the aftermath of Sharon Tate's murder. The internet search for a book published in 1887, leads a writer to discover the life of a passionate woman. The characters in SONGS FOR THE FLAMES are men and women touched by violence - sometimes directly, sometimes only tangentially - but whose lives are changed forever by an unexpected encounter or by the operation of incomprehensible forces. Sixteen years after his first collection, Juan Gabriel Vasquez returns to the form with an outstanding set of nine morally complex stories, fresh proof of his narrative versatility and his profound understanding of the lives of others.