The Lucky Ones


Published by Faber & Faber.

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The Lucky Ones (UK)

Set in Colombia between 1993 and 2013—the peak years of violence during the long Colombian conflict—this jigsaw puzzle of a novel centres on a group of wealthy girls, the daughters of expats and local elite, and the teachers, housekeepers, warlords, and guerrilla fighters who surround them. 

A teenager hides alone in her family's mansion until she hears a knock at the door. Her teacher is kidnapped by guerrillas and teaches Shakespeare in the jungle to a class of sticks, leaves, and stones. Another classmate, now a young woman in New York, straddles past and present, unable to live in either without the help of the little bags of powder she carries with her.

Showcasing a brilliant new literary voice, THE LUCKY ONES is both steeped in realism and has a hallucinatory feel—whether from the heat of the jungle, the drugs, or the surreal quality of a world in which the super wealthy have pet lions, people you love can disappear in an instant, and at any moment there might be a knock at your door.

“Julianne Pachico takes a hammer and brings it down on the superficial gloss of history, piecing the fragments into a kaleidoscopic collage that tells a deeply observed, stylistically adventurous and emotionally riveting story of people caught up in the violence of Colombia's guerrilla insurgencies. Moving effortlessly between the surreal and the real, sometimes in the space of a single sentence, Pachico delivers one of the most original and mesmerizing debuts I've read in years.”

—Marisa Silver, New York Times bestselling author of Little Nothing and Mary Coin


“Each of these stories enlivens and unsettles in its own way. Their cumulative power derives from the way they expose the fragility of any kind of security, and the interconnectedness of lives across gulfs of time and society. THE LUCKY ONES is a riveting collection.”

—James Scudamore, award-winning author of Heliopolis and The Amnesia Clinic

“Julianne Pachico’s tough and stunning stories set in both the Colombian and the New York drug jungles kept this reader up all night and made her double check that her front door was locked tight.”

—Lily Tuck, National Book Award-winning author of The News from Paraguay and The Double Life of Liliane

Published by Spiegel & Grau

Available now

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