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The Number One Colombian Bestseller Oblivion is a memorial to the author's father, Héctor Abad Gómez, whose criticism of the Colombian regime led to his murder by paramilitaries in 1987. A work of deep feeling and consummate skill, it paints an unforgettable picture of a man who followed his conscience and paid for it with his life, during one of the darkest periods in Latin America's recent history. Oblivion has been magnificently translated into English by Anne McLean, two-time winner of the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction.
Colombian author Abad (The Joy of Being Awake) dedicates this loving and sentimental memoir to his father, H ctor Abad G mez, a professor and doctor devoted to his family, "moved to tears by poetry and music," and committed to a better Colombia. The latter aspiration cost him his life when he was assassinated in 1987, and his son began writing this book five years later. Abad spends much of the book expressing his love for his father, but it is his discussion of G mez's public health and human rights projects such as founding "the Colombian Institute of Family Wellbeing, which built aqueducts and sewer systems in villages, rural districts, and cities" that reveals what a remarkable educator, reformer, and activist the senior Abad was, and how his assassination (most likely ordered by Colombia's political leadership at the time) was a tragedy for a family and a nation. Those unfamiliar with Abad's and G mez's writings will nevertheless find this timely memoir moving and informative.