Magical Realism Meets Asian Culture in ‘Night Prayers’


By Rengaraj Viswanathan 

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 where the Colombians’ destinies end up taking them. The author of this novel is Colombian writer Santiago Gamboa.

Juana and Manuel’s lower middle class family are ardent supporters of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who comes to power promising to put an end to the FARC-driven guerrilla war in Colombia. They are frustrated with the bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and drug trafficking undertaken by the guerrillas, who have deviated from their original ideological agenda and become a criminal terrorist organisation, pushing the country to the brink of failure. Uribe manages to break the FARC’s back with an iron hand. But the country’s liberals and intellectuals, including Juana, are critical of the government’s excesses and the atrocities committed by the military as well as the paramilitary forces in the name of the war against the guerillas. Read more

Source: The Wire

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