Oblivion by Héctor Abad

86%

7 Critic Reviews

Abad waited 20 years to write this account. At one point he mentions the “twin dangers of nostalgia and despairing bitterness”...The passage of time seems to have given him just enough distance to overcome these dangers.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Oblivion is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written memorial to the author’s father, Héctor Abad Gómez, whose criticism of the Colombian regime led to his murder by paramilitaries in 1987. Twenty years in the writing, 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.

 

About Héctor Abad

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Héctor Abad is one of Colombia's leading writers. Born in 1958, he grew up in Medellín, where he studied medicine, philosophy, and journalism. After being expelled from university for writing a defamatory text against the Pope, he moved to Italy before returning to his homeland in 1987.
 
Published April 24, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 273 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Oblivion
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 01 2012

Is there a father alive who would not weep at such an artful, tender tribute?

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Giles Tremlett on Nov 26 2010

The result is a shattering chronicle of Colombia's violence... But it is also an inspiring tribute to tolerance and paternal love.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Michael Greenberg on May 18 2012

Abad waited 20 years to write this account. At one point he mentions the “twin dangers of nostalgia and despairing bitterness”...The passage of time seems to have given him just enough distance to overcome these dangers.

Read Full Review of Oblivion | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Apr 23 2012

If I were forced to describe Héctor Abad’s memoir, “Oblivion,” in a single word, that word would probably be: meh.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Jacobs on Nov 12 2010

Its cathartic last pages, with their profound reflections on death and oblivion, are a powerful reminder of how the recalling of a person is a way of bringing back to life, and of deferring for a "moment more" the void that awaits us all.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Ilan Stavans on May 11 2012

This desire to explore the echoes of memory with meticulous care, to touch the wound of the past through lucid prose, is an act of valor.

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World Literature Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Adele Newson-Horst

The key to the memoir’s triumph is Abad’s deft handling of memory.

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Reader Rating for Oblivion
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