Stranger to the Moon by Evelio Rosero
The renowned Colombian writer Evelio Rosero has never been one to shy away from the darker aspects of his nation’s history and society. His magnificent novel Stranger to the Moon portrays a world that seems to exist outside time and place but taps into the dark myths and collective subconscious of his country, with its harrowing inequality and violence. A parable of pointed social criticism, with naked humans imprisoned in a house in order to serve the needs of “the vicious clothed ones,” the novel describes what ensues when a single “naked one” privately rebels, risking his own death and that of his fellow prisoners. Each subsequent section of the book adds further layers to the ritualistic and bizarre social order inhabited by its characters. Insects and reptiles are trained as agents and spies against the naked ones, and only the most fortunate humans manage to reach old age by taking up strategic spots near the kitchens and grabbing for the fiercely contested food. Stranger to the Moon is a brave, powerful, and distinctive novel by a writer who arguably holds the strongest claim to the title of Colombia’s greatest living author.