When Colombia won I told myself to resist choosing a Gabriel García Márquez novel because it seems like an obvious first choice. Maybe if Colombia wins another game.
Colombia vs. Greece
Tell Me Something True
Gabriella’s mother died when she was four; however the discovery of a journal in her old family home in Colombia gives Gabriella another chance to know her mother. The novel unfolds through alternating chapters between the point of view of Gabriella and her mother Helena’s letters. As Gabriella reads the letters she realizes that the idyllic family life she thought she had was a lie and might realize that finding out the truth leaves more questions than answers.
WINNER: Ivory Coast
Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote
Kourouma’s novel Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote is based on an actual person, Gnassingbé Eyadema of Togo, but Kourouma presents the story as a mixing of history and myth that evokes classics like the Aeneid or Odyssey. Over five nights Bingo, a storyteller and king’s fool, speaks about the life of Koyaga, President and Dictator of the Gulf Coast. While Koyaga’s story unfolds readers get a sense of the conflict he feels between traditions of his people and the expectations of the colonizers all while documenting his rise to power.