“Intimate, emotion-saturated portrait . . . the flavors and the colors are vivid . . . [A] compelling picture of contemporary Colombia and the roots of its problems . . . a gift for the rest of us.”—William Grimes, The New York Times
Growing up in the coastal city of Barranquilla, Colombia, Silvana Paternostro enjoyed a privileged childhood, a comfortable existence marred only briefly by fleeting encounters with the social inequalities and burgeoning drug trade that threatened the country’s security. Soon, however, these shadowy threats intensified, boiling over into the most violent, most protracted, and most misunderstood civil war of our time.
In My Colombian War, Paternostro, now an acclaimed reporter, journeys back to the place where her family and closest friends still live, weaving authentic experience into a history of this ongoing conflict. Drawing on interviews with family members, rebel and paramilitary leaders, and a singular young American marine named Charlie, Paternostro portrays all sides of the conflict. Blending superb reportage with poignant personal stories, she offers a stunning, comprehensive narrative of Colombia’s complicated past and present.
“Revelatory . . . a moving, highly memorable take on how a country lost its moorings.” —The Atlantic
“Paternostro’s stunning, nononsense prose truly lets you into her mind and the country’s history.”—Marie Claire
A Journey Through the Country I Left Behind