Novels such as One Hundred Years of Solitude have awakened English-language readers to the existence of Colombian literature in recent years, but Colombia has a well-established literary tradition that far predates the Latin American "boom." In this pathfinding study, Raymond Leslie Williams provides an overview of seventeen major authors and more than one hundred works spanning the years 1844 to 1987. After an introductory discussion of Colombian regionalism and novelistic development, Williams considers the novels produced in Colombia's four semi-autonomous regions. The Interior Highland Region is represented by novels ranging from Eugenio Díaz' Manuela to Eduardo Caballero Calderón's El buen salvaje. The Costa Region is represented by Juan José Nieto's Ingermina to Alvaro Cepeda Samudio's La casa grande and Gabriel García Márquez' Cien años de soledad; the Greater Antioquian Region by Tomás Carrasquilla's Frutos de mi tierra to Manuel Mejía Vallejo's El día señalado; and the Greater Cauca Region by Jorge Isaacs' Maria to Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazábal's El bazar de los idiotas. A discussion of the modern and postmodern novel concludes the study, with special consideration given to the works of García Márquez and Moreno-Durán.
Written in a style accessible to a wide audience, The Colombian Novel will be a foundational work for all students of Colombian culture and Latin American literature.