the train of ICE and FIRE

The Train of Ice and Fire

toiafBy Ramon Chao

Translated by Ann Wright

First Edition Hardback

ISBN: 978-1-901927-37-5

Hardback Edition

Post and Packing included

Official Release February 2009.

Advanced copies are now available to order direct from this website.

‘Maybe it was the best adventure I ever had.’ - Manu Chao

Colombia, November 1993: a reconstructed old passenger train, bespangled with yellow butterflies, is carrying one hundred musicians, acrobats and artists on a daring adventure through the heart of a country soaked in violence. The intention is to put on free shows for locals at railway stations along the way: vibrant spectacles involving music, trapeze, tattoo-art, an ice museum and, star of the show, Roberto the fire-breathing dragon. Leading this crusade of hope is Manu Chao with his band Mano Negra.

Ramon Chao is on board to chronicle the journey. As the train climbs 1,000 kilometres from Santa Marta on the Caribbean Coast to Bogotá in the Altiplano, Ramón keeps one eye on the fluctuating morale of the train’s eccentric cargo, and the other on the ever-changing physical and social landscape. As the papa of the train, he endures personal discomfort, internal strife, derailments, stowaways, disease, guerrillas and paramilitaries. When the train arrives in Aracataca, the real-life Macondo of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Mano Negra disintegrates, leaving Manu to pick up the pieces with those determined to see this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through to the end.

The Train of Ice and Fire is a book about hope and dreams in troubled times. It is about a father accompanying his son through an experience which will change his life. But most of all it is about Colombia, the flora, the fauna, the history, the politics and, more than any of that, it is a book about people.

Foreword by Ignacio Ramonet

chaoRamon Chao (Villalba, Lugo 1935) is a distinguished writer and journalist. He was chief editor for the Latin American service of Radio France Internationale, and worked for Le Monde and Le Monde Diplomatique. He is the French correspondent for Radio Colifata in Buenos Aires. In 1984 he created the prestigious Juan Rulfo Prize, an award for new Spanish language writers. He has written numerous essays and novels in French, Spanish and Galician. Amongst his works are Las Travesias de Luis Gontan, Las Andaduras del Che, El Lago de Como and Porque Cuba Eres Tu. He lives in Paris.

Ann Wright has translated fourteen books from Spanish and French including Motorcycle Diaries, The Fragrance of Guava and I, Rigoberta Menchu. She is a human rights activist and lectures on the theory and practice of civilian protection. She lives in London.

Train of Ice and Fire

‘Maybe it was the best adventure I ever had’ – Manu Chao

toiafThe Train of Ice and Fire – Mano Negra in Colombia

Ramon Chao’s account of this life-changing journey through the heart of an exotic and dangerous country, from Santa Marta on the Caribbean Coast to Bogota in the Altiplano.

Ramon Chao – biographical information

Ramon Chao is a distinguished writer and journalist.

toiafPreview Events

Ramon Chao will be giving talks at the Instituto Cervantes in Leeds and Manchester on October 23-24. Follow this link for more details.