The Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Forthcoming in Summer 2018
SYNOPSIS: In 1990s Bogotá the Santiago family lives in a gated community, safe from the drug-fueled violence devastating Colombia. Young sisters Chula and Cassandra live in morbid fascination of the death and dying on their television. The threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hovers just outside their neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities as he in turn captures the attention of a nation. But when the family hires a live-in maid named Petrona from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slums, the outside world begins to creep closer. As a drought causes citywide power and water outages, car bombs kill little girls, presidential candidates are assassinated in front of horrified crowds, and grandmothers are caught in the crossfire between the warring guerrillas and paramilitaries. And in the Santiago home, teenage Petrona’s simple nature hides a dark secret that will eventually upend their lives. Told from the perspectives of the naïve, unblinking Chula and the mysterious Petrona (and inspired by the author’s own childhood), The Fruit of the Drunken Tree depicts a world where the threat of violence lurks in even the safest of spaces and sensitively explores the even greater emotional cost of living in its shadow.