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Born in Bogotá, he studied literature at the Javerian University of Bogotá. He moved to Spain where he remained until 1990 and graduated in Hispanic Philology at the University of Alcalá de Henares. He then moved to Paris, where he studied Cuban Literature at the Sorbonne.
He made his debut as a novelist with Páginas de vuelta (1995), a work that established him as one of the most innovative voices of the new Colombian narrative; later he wrote Perder es cuestión de método (1997), which was internationally acclaimed and has been translated into Italian, French, Greek, Portuguese, Czech, and German, and about which a film is now being made. Vida feliz de un joven llamado Esteban (2000) has added to his international prestige. He is also the author of the travel book Octubre en Pekín (2001).
As a journalist, he has been a contributor to the Latin American Service of Radio France International in Paris, a correspondent for El Tiempo and columnist for the magazine Cromos. He lives in Rome.
- 1995 Páginas de vuelta, novel.
- 1997 Perder es cuestión de método, novel.
- 2000 Vida feliz de un joven llamado Esteban.
- 2001 Los impostores, novel.
- 2002 Octubre en Pekín, travel book.
- 2004 El cerco de Bogotá.
- 2005 El síndrome de Ulises
- 2008 Hotel Pekin, short novel
- 2009 Necrópolis, novel.
- 2012 Plegarias nocturnas, novel.
- Craig-Odders, Renée W.; Collins, Jacky; Close, Glen Steven (January 2006). Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian detective fiction: essays on the género negro tradition. McFarland. pp. 151–. ISBN 978-0-7864-2426-9. Retrieved 17 June 2011.