The Farm


Translated from by

Published: Coming April 17, 2018

Book Description

Pilar, Eva, and Antonio Ángel are the last heirs of La Oculta, a farm hidden in the mountains of Colombia. The land has survived several generations. It is the landscape of their happiest memories but it is also where they have had to face the siege of violence and terror, restlessness and flight.

In The Farm, Héctor Abad illuminates the vicissitudes of a family and of a people, as well as of the voices of these three siblings, recounting their loves, fears, desires, and hopes, all against a dazzling backdrop. We enter their lives at the moment when they are about to lose the paradise on which they built their dreams and their reality.

The Farm is a treasure… With this novel, which deals with a seemingly local theme—the residents’ love for the land and the colonization of the town of Jericó—Héctor Abad gives us a universal work that explores the attachments that enslave human beings, who, to preserve them, are willing to risk everything…”
El Espectador (Colombia)

“In Latin America, a new post-ideological realism is spreading. Héctor Abad’s novel The Farm is today’s literary response to Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude. A masterpiece.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)

“Mr. Abad’s prose is elastic and alive…In Spanish the verb ‘to remember’ is ‘recordar,’ the author reminds us, a word that derives from ‘cor,’ the Latin for heart. [Oblivion] is extravagantly big-hearted.”
Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“An admirable effort at speaking the unspeakable, at verbalizing the pain accumulated over decades, is Héctor Abad’s extraordinary memoir Oblivion. It’s been years since I read such a powerful meditation on loss…”
Ilan Stavans, San Francisco Chronicle

Oblivion is a searing memoir written with love and blood: both family blood, the kind that’s thicker than water, and the spilled blood of barbarism and murder. From the first pages we feel the internal necessity driving this story… while Oblivion is suffused with politics, it is primarily, and most powerfully, a highly personal coming-of-age story that’s also a sharp sociopolitical portrait of its place and time… This hard-earned memoir is an act of courage in its own right.”
Michael Greenberg, The New York Times

“A passion for romantic Borgesianism will be satisfied by Héctor Abad’s Recipes for Sad Women, cute vignettes which address a darker sadness.”
Nick Lezard, The Guardian Books of the Year 2012

“I store up what I have read by Héctor Abad like spherical, polished, luminous little balls of bread, ready for when I have to walk through a vast forest in the nighttime.”
Manuel Rivas

"[A] pensive novel, by noted Colombian writer Abad... of a rural family torn by conflict and incomprehension.... Abad studs his novel with sharply drawn aperçus... A graceful story that takes its time to unfold, with much roiling under the surface of the narrative."
Kirkus Reviews

"Abad’s arresting novel (after the memoir Oblivion) tells the story of La Oculta, a farm hidden in the mountains outside Medellín that has weathered guerrilla and paramilitary violence but whose future is anything but secure...a brilliant lesson in Colombian history, as it fluctuates between past, 'nonexistent future, which is over for us or ending,' and 'the present, the here and now, in these few moments of life left to us.'"
Publisher's Weekly

"The Farm is a sweeping, satisfying tale about the interplay of family life and national history...The novel’s three main characters share the narrative duties, and each is a memorable, distinct figure...With perceptive novels like this one, Abad is carving out an enviable niche in Colombia’s celebrated literary tradition."
Kevin Canfield, World Literature Today

“I myself was in exile for many years. Now I am back and can see a serious effort to realize the dreams my father had 30 years ago.” Read the rest of Héctor Abad’s interview with Deutsche Welle here.

Read here about Héctor Abad’s interview with 60 Minutes, where he recounts life under Pablo Escobar.