Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Pilar Quintana in conversation with Julianne Pachico at Burley Fisher Books!

June 6, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0

18.30 on 6th June 2023 at Burley Fisher Books

Pilar Quintana in conversation with Julianne Pachico

Join us for an evening to celebrate by Pilar Quintana. Translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman.

“An eight-year-old girl takes in a series of troubling events in this luminous and transfixing account of fractured family life from Colombian writer Quintana (The Bitch). … Readers will be dazzled.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Claudia is an impressionable eight-year-old girl, trying to understand the world through the eyes of the adults around her.

Her hardworking father hardly speaks a word, spending all his time at the supermarket he runs; while her unhappy mother spends her days reading ¡Hola! and Cosmopolitan, tending to the jungle of plants she fills the apartment with, and telling Claudia stories about women who end their lives tragically.

When Claudia’s auntie, tía Amelia, surprises the family with the husband she met travelling in Europe, the delicate balance of family life becomes disturbed, and Claudia’s world starts falling apart.

In this strikingly vivid portrait of 80’s Calí, Colombia, Claudia’s acute observations remind us that children are capable of discerning extremely complex realities even if they cannot fully understand them.

In Abyss, Quintana leads us brilliantly into the lonely heart of the child we have all once been, driven by fear of abandonment.


Pilar Quintana is a widely respected Colombian author. In 2007, Hay Festival selected her as one of the most promising young authors of Latin America. Her previous novel, The Bitch, won a PEN Translates award. It also won the prestigious Colombian Biblioteca de Narrativa Prize, was selected for several Best Books of 2017 lists, and was chosen as one of the most valuable objects to preserve for future generations in a marble time capsule in Bogotá. Abyss, her latest novel, was awarded the Premio Alfaguara de Novela, which is among the most prestigious awards in the Spanish language.

Lisa Dillman is a literary translator based in Decatur, Georgia. Some of her recent translations include A Silent Fury by Yuri Herrera, A Luminous Republic by Andrés Barba, The Touch System by Alejandra Costamagna.

Julianne Pachico is the author of THE LUCKY ONES (2017) and THE ANTHILL (2020). She was born in Cambridge and grew up in Cali, Colombia. She currently teaches Creative Writing at UEA. Her new novel JUNGLE HOUSE will be published November ’23.

Praise for Abyss:

“What are the abysses that a girl, stunned by the mysteries of her family and the world, peers into? Her apartment is a jungle,  her home a supermarket, her country a fog-enclosed mountain range obscuring the cliffs. Readers too fall, stunned, into Pilar Quintana’s abyss.” – Héctor Abad

“[A] powerful story . . . In subtle and brilliant prose, in which nature connects us with the symbolic possibilities of literature, the abysses are both real and intimate.” – Jury, Alfaguara Novel Prize 2021


June 6, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0


Burley Fisher Books
400 Kingsland Rd
London, E8 4AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map
View Venue Website