Like This Afternoon Forever
About the Book
Jaime Manrique has been named the recipient of the 2019 Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented by the Publishing Triangle
"A seasoned and venerated writer, Manrique sets his newest novel in his native Colombia, to reckon with the 'false positive' scandal, in which the military lured unsuspecting civilians to their deaths and then presented the bodies as defeated insurgents in order to inflate their victories...Manrique's elegant prose anchors this explosive storyline to the intimacy of love...Another excellent novel by a master storyteller."
--NBC News, included in 10 New Latino Books
"Jaime Manrique's new literary novel of love and murder is based on a shocking (and little-reported in US media) crime--up to 10,000 poor and mentally disabled Columbian citizens were lured to remote areas of the country by the Columbian military, murdered, then presented to superiors as 'guerilla fighters' to inflate casualty numbers, in what's been dubbed the 'false positives' scandal. In Like This Afternoon Forever, two priests already forced to hide their forbidden love come across evidence of widespread government violence."
--CrimeReads, included in the Most Anticipated Crime Books of Summer 2019
"Manrique's drama of a dangerous love affair in a world of blood, terror, displacement, and desperation grapples with profound and persistent conflicts."
"The author's sixth novel weaves together a series of murders and the story of two gay Catholic priests who become lovers."
--New York Times Book Review, "Globetrotting," April 2019
"Like Jaime's other writing, the novel is fleet, clear, and so humbly and economically written as to seem effortless. In tone, it's as if a good, trusted friend or relative were telling you a story you could always follow and that is always somehow comforting, even as it draws you evermore deeply into realms of danger, suffering and tragedy."
--Medium, included in a feature piece by Dr. Lawrence Mass
"Manrique is our Scheherazade."
"A novel about two seminary students who fall in love, Like This Afternoon Forever is a powerful story of religion, poverty, sexuality, and tenderness, as quick and intense as a fairy tale, yet as real and brutal as contemporary Latin America. Jaime Manrique has written a beautiful, moving narrative about two good men in a dangerous world."
--Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters
"A tremendous novel, beautiful, passionate, and compassionate. In it we are able to recognize ourselves and, perhaps more importantly, come face to face with the other, unknown to us only because we choose not to see."
--El Tiempo (Colombia)
For the last fifty years, the Colombian drug cartels, various insurgent groups, and the government have fought over the control of the drug traffic, in the process destroying vast stretches of the Amazon, devastating Indian communities, and killing tens of thousands of homesteaders caught in the middle of the conflict.
Inspired by these events, Jaime Manrique's sixth novel, Like This Afternoon Forever, weaves in two narratives: the shocking story of a series of murders known internationally as "the false positives," and the related story of two gay Catholic priests who become lovers when they meet in the seminary.
Lucas (the son of farmers) and Ignacio (a descendant of the Barí indigenous people) enter the seminary out of a desire to help others and to get an education. Their visceral love story undergoes stages of passion, indifference, rage, and a final commitment to stay together until the end of their lives. Working in a community largely composed of people displaced by the war, Ignacio stumbles upon the horrifying story of the false positives, which will put the lives of the two men in grave danger.
About the Book
Two Catholic priests fall in love amid deadly conflicts in the Amazon between the Colombian government, insurgent groups, and drug cartels.
Jaime Manrique is a Colombian-born novelist, poet, essayist, and translator who writes both in English and Spanish, and whose work has been translated into fifteen languages. Among his publications in English are the novels Colombian Gold, Latin Moon in Manhattan, Twilight at the Equator, Our Lives Are the Rivers, and Cervantes Street; he has also published the memoir Eminent Maricones: Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me. His honors include Colombia's National Poetry Award, a 2007 International Latino Book Award (Best Novel, Historical Fiction), and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a distinguished lecturer in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at the City College of New York.