Every Day the River Changes: Four Weeks Down the Magdalena by Jordan Salama
An exhilarating travelogue for a new generation about a journey along Colombia’s Magdalena River, exploring life by the banks of a majestic river now at risk, and how a country recovers from conflict.
On sale November 16, 2021 • ISBN: 9781646220441
An American writer of Argentine, Syrian, and Iraqi Jewish descent, Jordan Salama tells the story of the Río Magdalena, nearly one thousand miles long, the heart of Colombia. This is Gabriel García Márquez’s territory—rumor has it Macondo was partly inspired by the port town of Mompox—as much as that of the Middle Eastern immigrants who run fabric stores by its banks.
Following the river from its source high in the Andes to its mouth on the Caribbean coast, journeying by boat, bus, and improvised motobalinera, Salama writes against stereotype and toward the rich lives of those he meets. Among them are a canoe builder, biologists who study invasive hippopotamuses, a Queens transplant managing a failing hotel, a jeweler practicing the art of silver filigree, and a traveling librarian whose donkeys, Alfa and Beto, haul books to rural children. Joy, mourning, and humor come together in this astonishing debut, about a country too often seen as only a site of war, and a tale of lively adventure following a legendary river.
Praise for Every Day the River Changes:
“A mesmerizing travelogue . . . Both complex and achingly beautiful, this outstanding account brims with humanity.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“If you're into armchair travel, Every Day the River Changes will have you gripping your chair arms with excitement and suspense. In his brave journeys through central Colombia, following the fabled Magdalena River from its source to its mouth, Jordan Salama discovered Marquezian wonders, and scary but awesome portents of the planet's future.” —Ian Frazier, author of Cranial Fracking
“Jordan Salama writes with an attentiveness, and a sense of adventure, that many of us might envy; this engaging, intrepid debut promises many more wonders to come. Already he’s shown himself to be a writer with a rare (and inspiring) commitment to giving us the world.” —Pico Iyer, author of Autumn Light
“This is a born journalist.”—John McPhee, Princeton University News
JORDAN SALAMA's work has appeared in outlets including The New York Times, National Geographic, and Scientific American. A 2019 graduate of Princeton University, he lives in New York.