A Gringa in Bogotá: Living Colombia's Invisible War by June Carolyn Erlick

A Gringa in Bogotá: Living Colombia's Invisible War

byJune Carolyn Erlick

Paperback | March 1, 2010

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To many foreigners, Colombia is a nightmare of drugs and violence. Yet normal life goes on there, and, in Bogotá, it's even possible to forget that war still ravages the countryside. This paradox of perceptions—outsiders' fears versus insiders' realities—drew June Carolyn Erlick back to Bogotá for a year's stay in 2005. She wanted to understand how the city she first came to love in 1975 has made such strides toward building a peaceful civil society in the midst of ongoing violence. The complex reality she found comes to life in this compelling memoir.

Erlick creates her portrait of Bogotá through a series of vivid vignettes that cover many aspects of city life. As an experienced journalist, she lets the things she observes lead her to larger conclusions. The courtesy of people on buses, the absence of packs of stray dogs and street trash, and the willingness of strangers to help her cross an overpass when vertigo overwhelms her all become signs of convivencia—the desire of Bogotanos to live together in harmony despite decades of war. But as Erlick settles further into city life, she finds that "war in the city is invisible, but constantly present in subtle ways, almost like the constant mist that used to drip down from the Bogotá skies so many years ago."

Shattering stereotypes with its lively reporting, A Gringa in Bogotá is must-reading for going beyond the headlines about the drug war and bloody conflict.

About The Author

JUNE CAROLYN ERLICK lived in Bogotá from 1975 to 1984 and from 2005 to 2006 and has visited the city many times in between. A veteran journalist and foreign correspondent who now teaches feature writing at Harvard Extension and Summer Schools, she is the Editor-in-Chief of ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America at the David Rocke...

Details & Specs

Title:A Gringa in Bogotá: Living Colombia's Invisible WarFormat:PaperbackDimensions:174 pages, 8.5 × 5.6 × 0.5 inPublished:March 1, 2010Publisher:University of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292722974

ISBN - 13:9780292722972

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword: A City on Display, by Herbert Tico Braun
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • La Primera Ronda
  • My Gringa Accent
  • Life and Rules
  • Looking for Maria
  • View from My Window
  • Dreaming of Journalism
  • War and Peace
  • Life on Movie Row
  • Redprodepaz: Knitting Peace
  • Dogs
  • TransMilenio
  • Three Tall Buildings
  • Displaced
  • Time
  • Plaza de Bolívar
  • Horses and Other Animals
  • El Chocó: Never to the Jungle
  • Artists: Beyond the Invisible Door
  • Dogs II
  • A City of Many Hues
  • Robberies
  • Random Acts of Kindness
  • Upstairs, Downstairs
  • Ciclovía
  • Bombs and Other Loud Noises
  • TransMilenio II
  • Theatre
  • Red, Yellow, and Blue
  • Disappeared
  • Good Friday: The Passion
  • Books
  • Gabo
  • Santa Marta: Listening to Students
  • The Strike
  • Remolinos
  • Abortion and Citizens' Rights
  • Catcalls and Unwelcome Whistles
  • Electing Álvaro
  • Jamundí
  • TransMilenio III
  • Truth and Reparations
  • Dreaming of Journalism II
  • CAFAM
  • Epilogue