New Book for 2007: Tales from the Town of Widows

Tales from the Town of Widows

One day, a band of guerrillas arrives in the mountain village of Mariquita, forcibly “recruits” all the men and takes them away to fight for the communist cause, leaving only the women and children. Tales from the Town of Widows recounts their struggle to get beyond grief and overturn centuries of tradition. In the process, they challenge the strong male orientation of their world, discover power and make a new life for themselves without men.

Ironically, they end up creating an equality-based society similar to the socialist ideal the guerrillas claim to be fighting for. This all-female utopia is put to the test when, after 16 years, four men return to the village, forcing the women to negotiate between past and present; between the world they’ve lost and the imperfect but peaceful existence they’ve created.

About the Author:
James Cañón was born and raised in Colombia. After majoring in Advertising from the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Bogotá, he moved to New York to learn English. He began his writing career while taking a grammar class at NYU. Since then, he’s written a number of short stories and a novel. His English short fiction has been published in Frontiers Magazine, and in the anthologies Bésame Mucho (Painted Leaf Press), and Virgins, Guerrillas & Locas (Cleis Press). An excerpt from his first novel, Tales from the Town of Widows, appeared in Chautauqua Literary Journal.

Cañón received his MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. While at Columbia, he was awarded the 2001 Henfield Prize for Excellence in fiction, and was a finalist in the inaugural cycle of the International Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center and the Millay Colony. He is currently at work on his second novel.

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