Infinite Country

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  • Indie Next Pick
  • Book of the Month Club Selection


“An outstanding novel of migration and the Colombian diaspora . . . Engel’s sharp, unflinching narrative teems with insight and dazzles with a confident, slyly sophisticated structure. This is an impressive achievement.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Remarkable . . . Told by a chorus of voices and perspectives, this is as much an all-American story as it is a global one.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“Engel's vital story of a divided Colombian family is a book we need to read . . . The rare immigrant chronicle that is as long on hope as it is on heartbreak.”
Kirkus, Starred Review

"A knockout of a novel . . . "
O, the Oprah Magazine "55 Most Anticipated Books of 2021"

“Engel’s sweeping novel gives voice to three generations of a Colombian family torn apart by man-made borders . . . Gorgeously woven through with Andean myths and the bitter realities of undocumented life, Infinite Country tells a breathtaking story of the unimaginable prices paid for a better life.”
Esquire, “The 20 Best Books of 2021 for the Long, Cold Months Ahead"

“At once a sweeping love story and tragic drama, Infinite Country . . . an authentic vision of what the American Dream looks like in a nationalistic country.”
Elle Magazine "The 55 Most Anticipated Books of 2021"

Colombian-American author Engel—who won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her extraordinary 2016 novel, The Veins of the Ocean—has produced another gorgeous and devastating Pan-American story of exile, yearning, and loss. “
Dan Sheehan, “LitHub’s "Most Anticipated Books of 2021"

“This is Engel at her best . . . This is the kind of book that allows you to see and feel the whole issue, offering an intimate perspective of an experience that touches and impacts us all . . . Infinite Country has us feeling all the emotions!”
—Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana, for Undomesticated Mag’s “Most Anticipated for 2021”

“I’ve admired Engel’s writing a long time, and her new book deepened that admiration. An exquisitely told story of family, war, and migration, this is a novel our increasingly divided country wants and needs to read.”
—R.O. Kwon, Electric Literature's “Books by Women of Color in 2021”

"A gorgeous, moving novel."
New York Post, "Best New Novels of Winter 2021"

“A story of immigration and diaspora that’s both brutal and hopeful, blending Andean myth with the lives of an undocumented family spread across two continents and fighting for reconnection.”
The Millions "Most Anticipated First-Half 2021 Book Preview"

"Patricia Engel is a wonder; her novels are marvels of exquisite control and profound and delicately evoked feeling. Infinite Country knocked me out with its elegant and lucid deconstruction of yearning, family, belonging, and sacrifice. This is a book that speaks into the present moment with an oracle's devastating coolness and clarity."
—Lauren Groff, author of Florida and Fates and Furies

"Clear, moving, and perfectly calibrated, Infinite Country follows the members of one mixed-immigration status family as they navigate dreams, distance, and the bonds of love and memory. Patricia Engel is a stunning writer with astonishing talents."
—Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

“Patricia Engel has an elegant voice. But that finesse has a way of making the shocks and surprises in her fiction more stunning. Infinite Country is her most satisfying work. You won’t be sorry. Well, you will be sorry when it ends.”
—Luis Alberto Urrea, author of House of Broken Angels

“What a breathtaking novel this is about family, forgiveness, and love while contending with the terrifying unknowns of being an immigrant in a merciless era. There is mercy, however, in every scene of Infinite Country—the kind of profound, understated mercy that manifests in exceptional works of fiction. Patricia Engel is a tremendous writer and Infinite Country is her best novel yet.”
—Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew

"Infinite Country crystallizes the questions we are asking today about migration, family, and our vision of the future. It is a powerful, poignant reminder of the sacrifices women must make for the sake of safety and hope. Engel has written a memorable and brutally honest response to the simplistic notion of what constitutes the American Dream."
—Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King

Infinite Country is both a timely and timeless novel. These pages bring to life the courage and complexity of the immigrant experience to the United States from the viewpoint of a Colombian family. In beautiful prose, Patricia Engel explores the hardship of life between two countries and two languages and the search for family and belonging.”
—Jennifer Clement, author of Prayers for the Stolen and Gun Love

"Infinite Country is a wonder, and Patricia Engel is a magician. Epic yet exquisitely private, a book to make you marvel."
—R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

"A tender, beautifully written, and deeply transporting story springing with love and hope. The questions at the heart of Infinite Country are some of the most urgent of our time: who is allowed in? How will I be known? What is home? Clever, strong, and born searching, Talia hooked me the second she decided to tie up that nun.”
Dina Nayeri, author of The Ungrateful Refugee

"Everything Patricia Engel writes is lit up from the inside with beauty and power. Her prose is gorgeous and her characters are achingly alive."
—Carolina De Robertis, author of Cantoras


An urgent and lyrical novel about a Colombian family fractured by deportation, offering an intimate perspective on an experience that so many have endured—and are enduring right now.

At the dawn of the new millennium, Colombia is a country devastated by half a century of violence. Elena and Mauro are teenagers when they meet, their blooming love an antidote to the mounting uncertainty of life in Bogotá. Once their first daughter is born, and facing grim economic prospects, they set their sights on the United States.

They travel to Houston and send earnings back to Elena’s mother, all the while weighing whether to risk overstaying their tourist visas or to return to Bogotá. As their family expands, and they move again and again, their decision to ignore their exit dates plunges the young family into the precariousness of undocumented status, the threat of discovery menacing a life already strained. When Mauro is deported, Elena, now tasked with caring for their three small children, makes a difficult choice that will ease her burdens but splinter the family even further.

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, herself the daughter of Colombian immigrants and a dual citizen, gives voice to Mauro and Elena, as well as their children, Karina, Nando, and Talia—each one navigating a divided existence, weighing their allegiance to the past, the future, to one another, and to themselves. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality for the undocumented in America, Infinite Country is the story of two countries and one mixed-status family—for whom every triumph is stitched with regret and every dream pursued bears the weight of a dream deferred.