The Farm (UK Edition)

By Héctor Abad

In his latest novel The Farm, Héctor Abad presents us with the moving story of a closely-knit Colombian family. When the Ángel family’s beloved home in the Antioquian wilderness falls into danger, they manage to defend it against the guerrillas and, later, the paramilitaries – but at a high price.

After their parents‘ death, Pilar, Eva and Toño have to decide the fate of their father’s legacy. While Pilar and Toño want to keep La Oculta, Eva, who experienced something terrible…
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Date of publication 1 January 1970

Anne McLean


Literary novel


‘Héctor Abad’s novel The Farm is today’s literary response to Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. A masterpiece.’ —Neue Zürcher Zeitung‘An elegy to the fragile paradises that we must all leave behind.’ —Le Monde‘Abad’s finely crafted novel not only expounds its narrators’ contrasting attitudes towards sex, rural life and tradition in a modernising country, but also tells in fictional form the true story of an attempt to create a rural middle class in Colombia.’ —The Economist‘The Farm is a treasure. With this novel, which deals with a seemingly local theme – the residents’ love for the land and the colonization of the town of Jericó – Héctor Abad gives us a universal work that explores the attachments that enslave human beings, who, to preserve them, are willing to risk everything’ —El Espectador

‘Mr. Abad’s prose is elastic and alive’—Dwight Garner, The New York Times 

‘An elegy to the fragile paradises that we must all leave behind.’—Le Monde

About the author

Héctor Abad

Héctor Abad was born in Medellín, Colombia, in 1958, where he studied medicine, philosophy and journalism. After being expelled from university for writing a defamatory text against the Pope, he moved to Italy. In 2008, Abad was a guest of the DAAD‘s Artist-in-Residence Programme in Berlin. He now lives again in Colombia. El olvido que seremos sold over 250,000 copies in Spanish.

Book Club Questions

Book Club Questions

  1. The book is written from the multiple perspectives of three siblings: Pilar, Antonio, and Eva. Which sibling did you most identify with, and why?
  2. How do you think this changing of perspective added to the story? What was the book able to do that might not have been possible through the viewpoint of a single narrator?
  3. Can you say a little about the relationships between the three siblings? What do you think Toño’s and Eva’s relationship is like, or Eva’s and Pilar’s, for example?
  4. In what ways do the three siblings differ in their attitudes toward the farm?
  5. How do you think Eva, in particular, feels about the farm after everything that happened to her there?
  6. Do the differences in opinions cause conflicts between the siblings, or are they able to resolve all their issues?
  7. How does the landscape play a role in the story? What do you think life in such a remote area of Colombia would be like?
  8. Do you think life in the cities in Colombia would be very different to life in the countryside? In what ways? Why not?
  9. What do you think was the biggest threat to the farm? Was it worth fighting for? Why, why not? What do you think you would have done in a similar situation?
  10. How does the environment described by Abad compare to your own surroundings? Are there any threats in your own city/town/local area? If so, what are they, and how could they be solved?
  11. How does Toño’s partner feel about the farm? How does he view Toño’s attachment to it?
  12. How important is the history of a family or a land? Should one strive to know the details of one’s ancestors, or should one simply move on and look to the future?
  13. How much do you know about your own family history and the history of the land on which you live? Is it something you would like to know more about? Why, why not?