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Check out a genre-defying memoir this month

By Allison Kooser

This month, we’re checking all of our genre boxes with a lyrical memoir that blends one family’s stories with Columbia’s turbulent political history. It’s a nonfiction reflection that reads like a fiction novel—so we think every reader will find something to enjoy!

Join us as we dive into Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ The Man Who Could Move Clouds!

Raised in Colombia in the 80s and 90s by a fortune-telling mother, Rojas Contreras (who also wrote our 2019 Book Club selection, Fruit of the Drunken Tree) had a childhood full of magic and steeped in political violence. Her mother’s father, Nono, was a renowned curandero, a community healer gifted with what her family called the secrets.

The magic didn’t feel like it belonged to her … until she suffered a head injury that left her with amnesia in her twenties. Spurred by a powerful urge to relearn her family history in the aftermath of her memory loss, Rojas Contreras and her mother travel to Colombia. Through the pages of The Man Who Could Move Clouds, we will join this mother and daughter on their journey as they trace their lineage back to Indigenous and Spanish roots and discover the origins of the secrets.

Patricia Engel, author of our May 2021 Book Club pick, Infinite Country, raved that “Rojas Contreras has given us a glorious gift with these pages,” describing it as “a memoir like no other.” And The New York Times Book Review called it “a spellbinding and genre-defying ancestral history.”  

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