For the last fifty years, the Colombian drug cartels, various insurgent groups, and the government have fought over the control of the drug traffic, in the process destroying vast stretches of the Amazon, devastating Indian communities, and killing tens of thousands of homesteaders caught in the middle of the conflict.
Inspired by these events, Jaime Manrique’s sixth novel, Like This Afternoon Forever, weaves in two narratives: the shocking story of a series of murders known internationally as “the false positives,” and the related story of two gay Catholic priests who become lovers when they meet in the seminary.
Lucas (the son of farmers) and Ignacio (a descendant of the Barí indigenous people) enter the seminary out of a desire to help others and to get an education. Their visceral love story undergoes stages of passion, indifference, rage, and a final commitment to stay together until the end of their lives. Working in a community largely composed of people displaced by the war, Ignacio stumbles upon the horrifying story of the false positives, which will put the lives of the two men in grave danger.
Jaime Manrique has been named the recipient of the 2019 Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented by the Publishing Triangle
Like This Afternoon Forever has been named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction
“The author’s sixth novel weaves together a series of murders and the story of two gay Catholic priests who become lovers.”
—New York Times Book Review, “Globetrotting,” April 2019
“A seasoned and venerated writer, Manrique sets his newest novel in his native Colombia, to reckon with the ‘false positive’ scandal, in which the military lured unsuspecting civilians to their deaths and then presented the bodies as defeated insurgents in order to inflate their victories…Manrique’s elegant prose anchors this explosive storyline to the intimacy of love…Another excellent novel by a master storyteller.”
—NBC News, included in 10 New Latino Books
“Jaime Manrique’s new literary novel of love and murder is based on a shocking (and little-reported in US media) crime–up to 10,000 poor and mentally disabled Colombian citizens were lured to remote areas of the country by the Colombian military, murdered, then presented to superiors as ‘guerilla fighters’ to inflate casualty numbers, in what’s been dubbed the ‘false positives’ scandal. In Like This Afternoon Forever, two priests already forced to hide their forbidden love come across evidence of widespread government violence.”
—CrimeReads, included in the Most Anticipated Crime Books of Summer 2019
“Jaime Manrique’s dreamy Like This Afternoon Forever…tells the story of two gay priests against the backdrop of drug cartels in Colombia.”
—Kirkus Reviews, included in Radha Vatsal’s “Beyond Nordic Noir: On International Crime Fiction” column
“Against the backdrop of guerrilla warfare in Colombia, two young men fall in love while studying to become Catholic priests. Manrique, a recipient of Colombia’s National Poetry Award as well as a Guggenheim fellowship, weaves into his story the ‘false positives’ scandal, in which members of the Colombian military sought to drum up the number of guerilla fighters they’d killed by murdering and misidentifying innocent civilians.”
—Publishers Weekly, included in LGBTQ Feature
“Manrique’s drama of a dangerous love affair in a world of blood, terror, displacement, and desperation grapples with profound and persistent conflicts.”