"Since they shot her at point-blank range while she was being kissed, she confused the pain of love with that of death." Rosario Tijeras is the violent, violated character at the center of Jorge Franco's delicately balanced novel, set in self-destructing 1980s Medellin. Her very name-evoking the rosary and scissors-bespeaks her conflict as a woman who becomes a contract killer to insulate herself from the random violence of the streets (in a country where it is common practice among her colleagues to boil bullets in holy water before using them). Then she is shot, gravely wounded, and the circle of contradiction is closed.
From the corridors of the hospital where Rosario is fighting for her life, Antonio, the narrator, waits to learn if she will recover. We join him in his nighttime vigil. Piece by piece, as he moves through layers of recollection and speculation, we reconstruct the friendship between the two, the story of her many lovers, and her life as a hitwoman.
Rosario Tijeras is a work in the Latin American social realist tradition, possessed of fast and vibrant prose, and poetic flourish. It has sold over eighty thousand copies in Columbia alone.
Heralded in The New York Times as part of "Colombia's new wave of novelists," Jorge Franco has in a few years pieced together a billiant career. Born in Medellin, he is the recipient of the Pedro Gomez Valderrama National Narrative prize for a collection of short stories and the Ciudad de Pereira National Novel Competition Prize. Rosario Tijeras received Colombia's Dashiell Hammett Prize (2000). It is Ramos' first novel to be -published in the United States.
Gregory Rabassa (Translator) received the National Book Award for translation in 1967 for Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch.