Novelist Ingrid Rojas Contreras Puts a Human Face on a Violent Colombia

Growing up in Pablo Escobar-era Colombia in the 1990s, Ingrid Rojas Contreras witnessed kidnappings, car bombings, and a seemingly hopeless spiral of violence and hopelessness.

Her family took refuge in America when she was a teenager, but Ingrid carried the devastating memories and deep-rooted love for Colombians with her.

In her powerful debut novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree , Ingrid tells the coming-of-age stories of two young girls living vastly different lives in Bogota—one a middle class kid with a future, the other an inpoverished housekeeper in the grips of the guerillas.

The book was inspired by real-life events both in Ingrid’s own life and the headlines at that time.

On the podcast, Ingrid shares her harrowing story, her decision to fictionalize what could easily have been a memoir, and the process of getting it all down on the page.

Jonathan SmallComment