DeliriumBy Laura Restrepo
Aguilar, an unemployed literature professor who has resorted to selling dog food for a living, returns home after a three-day business trip to discover that his wife, Agustina, has gone mad. He doesn't know what has happened during his absence, and in his search for answers, he slowly uncovers profound and shadowy secrets hidden deep in his wife's past. On one level, "Delirium" reads like a detective story, as the reader pieces together information to find out what caused Agustina's madness. But it is also a remarkably nuanced novel whose currents run much deeper, delving into the minds of four unique characters: Aguilar, a husband passionately in love with his wife and determined to rescue her from madness; Agustina, a beautiful woman from a Colombian upper-class family who is caught in the throes of delirium; Midas, Agustina's former lover and a prominent drug-trafficker and money-launderer; and Nicolas, Agustina's grandfather, who also went mad at the end of his life. Through the mixing of these distinct voices, Laura Restrepo creates a searing portrait of a society battered by war and corruption, as well as an intimate look at the daily lives of people struggling to stay sane in an unstable society. It is an ambitious and deeply affecting masterwork by one of Latin America's most important contemporary voices.