The 2022 Marino Family International Writers' Academic Workshop will feature award-winning author Juan Gabriel Vásquez and his New York Times-bestselling novel The Sound of Things Falling. This year’s Workshop will take place Monday, August 22, during New Student Orientation, where Vásquez will deliver a lecture that discusses his novel and the life of writing with all incoming first-year students. After the lecture, students will break into small groups led by faculty and staff mentors to discuss the book and its themes.
In The Sound of Things Falling, Vásquez confronts the history of his native Colombia. The novel follows Antonio Yammara in Bogotá in both the 1960s, when he witnesses a friend’s murder amidst violence between Pablo Escobar’s Medellín drug cartel and government forces, and the 1990s, when the drug wars are impacting even those not involved in the drug trade.
Vásquez is the author of seven novels and two short story collections, including the Man Booker-shortlisted The Shape of the Ruins, and the forthcoming Retrospective, which won the Mario Vargas Llosa Biennial Award. In 2016 he was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2018 he was appointed to the Orden Isabel la Católica by the King of Spain.
The Marino Workshop began in 1995 as an opportunity for students to learn to transcend the particularities of their own culture, to develop respect for and understanding of differences of opinion, and to celebrate common human similarities. All first-year and transfer students will read a selected text by a major international author and complete a reflection assignment during the summer before they begin at Georgetown.
The Workshop is sponsored by Frederick Marino (SLL '68) and his family in honor of his father, Joseph Marino. It is jointly run by the University Library and the Office of the Provost.