There are individual books which just enter the psyche from where we do not know. A passing glimpse on a bookshop shelf. A casual reference in the footnote of another book, or maybe a brief mention while in a discussion. I’m not sure how or why I ended up ordering Hector Abad’s memoir Oblivion. As an author, I have never come across his name or indeed his father, whose story inhabits each of the books 261 pages.
Hector Abad’s father was a prominent medical doctor, university professor and human rights advocate in Colombia. He was murdered in 1987 by those closely associated with the countries wealthy elites, government and military of the day.
The book is not merely a memoir to commemorate his fathers’ life and the subjects he fought for, which ultimately cost him his life. Abad also shines a light on the complicated relationship seldom explored between son and father. The tone, the issues and writing make it a joy to read. Its a genuinely lovely, enjoyable, thought-provoking and tender book, which goes beyond a son and family suffering the cruellest of losses, but a celebration of love, life and acknowledgement the world would be a much darker place without people like Héctor Abad Gómez.