It is no secret that Colombia is in crisis because of a growing conflict between the nation-state, paramilitaries, guerrillas, and drug traffickers. In the search for answers to this endemic violence, a new wave of literature that focuses on the participants of this conflict has emerged in recent years. This literature, which aims to entertain as well as educate, explores the personal lives and family history of these protagonists. This approach allows authors to address relatively unexplored topics such as the participation of women in guerrilla armies. For instance, Patricia Lara’s Las mujeres en la guerra/Women in the War (2001) interviews women on opposing sides of the war and delves into issues of gender and domestic violence.

Razones de vida by Vera Grabe illustrates this new trend and yet stands apart because it is an autobiography/memoir. The autobiographical nature of this work gives...

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