Jaime Manrique is a Colombian-born novelist, poet, essayist, and translator who writes both in English and Spanish. 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.
Circumstances: Life and Love Amid the Complexities of Class and Misfortune
In his sixth novel, Like this Afternoon Forever, Jaime Manrique tells the romantic and tragedy-laced story of two priests who work in a community of people displaced by war and threatened by circumstances. Thrity Umrigar, in The Secrets Between Us, chronicles the poignant and compelling life of a former servant struggling against the circumstances of class and misfortune. Both novels brilliantly expose the complexities born of life without privilege, and explore the intimacy and connection that can occur amid even extraordinary circumstances.
Franklin Abbott has had the pleasure of working with all five of the program directors for the festival giving advice about LGBTQ writers. He is one of the founders of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival and a poet, musician, and psychotherapist.
Like This Afternoon Forever
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.