© Javier Toloza
Daniel Ferrreira, born in Colombia in 1981, is a writer and blogger. His short stories, chronicles and essays have been published in major Latin American newspapers such as El Espectador in Colombia, Casa de las Américas in Cuba, Letras Libres and Tierradentro in Mexico. In 2013, his blog Una hoguera para que arde Goya was awarded the “Best Blog for the Dissemination of Spanish Language Culture in 2013” by the Instituto Cervantes and the University Alcalá de Henares. His work has been awarded several literary prizes, among them the Premio Clarín for Rebellion of the Useless Professions. In the frame of Bogotá39-2017, organized by the Hay Festival, Daniel Ferreira has been selected as one of the 39 highest profile Latin American writers under the age of 40.
The Year of the Black Sun (“El año del sol negro”) unfolds against an eclipse expected in 1900, which is seen as a negative sign from all sides. In Colombia there is civil war, the so-called „War of a Thousand Days“. It is part of the decades-long conflict between Liberals and Conservatives and is conducted by both sides with ruthless severity. In his new novel, Daniel Ferreira once again sets off in search of the origins of Colombian violence. He does so by dragging the reader into the midst of warfare around the small town of Cúcuta and allowing him to experience the events directly from the perspectives of the different characters. There is, above all, the thirty-year-old Julia Valserra, the grocer’s unmarried daughter, who fears for her secret lover José Celestino and finds in her diary the freedom of writing. José has quit his job to become a soldier with the liberal insurgents.
With breathtaking power of language, The Year of the Black Sun tells of an inevitable catastrophe, but also of love in times of war. As a genuine work of apocalyptic literature, the novel points far beyond itself and asks questions about the human condition. Such a book does not shy away from comparisons with Mario Vargas Llosa‘s The War at the End of the World.
This haunting novel puts Daniel Ferreira among the great new narrators in Spanish language.
Enrique Santos Molano
Daniel Ferreira grabs his readers with a force and a mastery, for a story that he knows is necessary.
Rebellion of the Useless Professions (“Rebelión de los oficios inútiles”) is a brilliant choral novel that captivates the reader with huge narrative power.
Simón Alemán, a melancholic and much-travelled landowner goes bankrupt while trying to fulfill his utopian dream about building a luxurious village on top of a mountain in his native Colombia. Under the leadership of the elderly but persevering peasant Ana Larrota, the workers, cheated out on their wages, seize the land, ending in a tragedy the official media try to hush up. But Joaquín Borja, the owner of the small left-wing newspaper The Political Hen, will not give up searching for the truth, not even when his own life is at risk.
Through different narrative threads, the reader follows these unique characters through their eventful lives, in Colombia, post-war Italy, New York and Cuba, led by the author’s artfully constructed plot and the tireless voice of a great storyteller.
It‘s been a while since I‘ve read such a modern and risky start to a contemporary novel. It is as if the Joyce of Dubliners had been reincarnated in the author of Rebellion of the Useless Professions
Daniel Ferreira makes it quite clear that the sagas of blood and death are far from over.
A great story, whose many stylistic attributes are handled with remarkable precision. A moving novel not only because of what is told, but how it is told.
Profound, tragic, choral: With the power of its prose and the skills of its narrative resources Rebellion of the Useless Professions reaches the very highest level of contemporary Latin American literature.
Daniel Ferreira brings together all the right ingredients to portray Latin America in a way that is both authentic and painful at the same time
I write about violence to heal myself from what I have experienced.
Daniel Ferreira about Rebelión de los oficios inútiles
A small village prepares to choose its beauty queen during the local festivities. Suddenly, a group of hooded men in a black van bursts in. That‘s how Journey Inside a Drop of Blood (“Viaje al interior de una gota de sangre”) starts. As if we were witnessing an act of resurrection, the novel traverses, character by character, the life of each person until it reaches the exact moment before his or her death. Through all the stories, more than just a personal story is revealed: each character multiplies and reflects the story of a village that ends up being assassinated, one celebratory afternoon, by paramilitary violence. A compelling narrative that is a linguistically brilliant and ruthless portrayal of violence, by one of Colombia‘s most talented young authors.
A wall of ignominy painted on a church by a village artist. A public denunciation. A great fresco.
A careful, vigorous and honest use of language.
You can also visit the author’s blog:
Pentalogía de Colombia
The Year of the Black Sun (“El año del sol negro”)
Bogotá: Alfaguara 2018, 612 p.
English sample translation available
Rebellion of the Useless Professions (“Rebelión de los oficios inútiles”)
Buenos Aires: Alfaguara-Clarín 2014, 320 p.
Premio Clarín de Novela 2014
Already in its 6° reprint
English sample translation available
Journey Inside a Drop of Blood (“Viaje al interior de una gota de sangre”)
Havana: Editorial Arte y Literatura 2011; Veracruz: Editorial Universidad Veracruzana 2014, 122 p.
Bogotá: Alfaguara 2017
Premio Latinoamericano de Novela Alba Narrativa 2011
Greece: Kastaniotis Editions
The Ballad of the Rubbishy Robbers (“La balada de los bandoleros baladíes”)
Veracruz: Editorial Universidad Veracruzana 2010; Havana: Editorial Arte y Literatura 2015, 114 p.
Bogotá: Alfaguara, forthcoming 2019
Premio Latinoamericano de Novela Sergio Galindo 2010
Participation in anthologies:
Bogotá 39. New Voices from Latin America
UK: Oneworld 2018
Anthology of the Newest Hispano-American Short Stories
(“Antología de la Novísima Narrativa Breve Hispanoamericana”)
Caracas: Grijalbo 2009