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Eliana Tobias

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The Author

Welcome! I am Eliana Tobias. I was born in Santiago, Chile, to immigrant parents who escaped the Holocaust.

My rich experience of political turmoil, of listening to stories of the Holocaust when Jewish communities in Europe were shattered, of losing family in Chile under military dictatorship, and living in Peru during a time of intense civil conflict, fueled by my passion to write about the ways in which people caught in devastation rebuild their lives.

Latest Release! When We Return

“Eliana Tobias has managed in this moving and intelligent novel to show us two characters who, coming from very different worlds, at the end are telling the same story. The story of disarray, discrimination, and injustice. Showing us as well that hate is everywhere and the only antidote we have is memory and love.”
—Carla Guelfenbein, Alfaguara-award winner and internationally recognized author of eight novels including In the Distance With You

Who should be held responsible for public wrongs?

By 2008, it finally seems that the Peruvian government is ready to make amends to its citizens following the violent guerilla movement of the last three decades.

Otilia and Salvador, a mother and son torn apart during the conflict and separated for twenty years, are eager for the government to acknowledge their pain and suffering, but they hit a roadblock when the government denies responsibility in their legal case.

Things begin to look up when Otilia meets Jerry, a kind man and the son of Jewish parents who escaped the Holocaust. Grappling with his own upbringing and the psychological struggles his parents endured, Jerry is just the person to empathize with Otilia’s situation. Together, Otilia, Jerry, and Salvador must support one another through the turbulent journey that is healing from historical trauma, and through it, they must find the courage to rebuild their lives and open themselves up to love and companionship.

Artfully weaving together different timelines and countries, Tobias examines the nuanced topic of grief a community endures after a collective tragedy. In this exploration of the culture of remembrance following displacement and loss, we discover what happens when our past calls us back to what we must do to achieve justice and reconciliation when we return.


In The Belly of The Horse

“Eliana Tobias’s gripping and poignant historical novel immerses us in the turmoil of Peru’s brutal political conflict and the powerful forces that drive immigration. Through her lived experience in Peru and her uncluttered, elegant prose, she breathes life into her fully realized characters and the chaotic worlds they inhabit. Their courageous, heart-wrenching journey intimately reveals the profound challenges faced by countless people worldwide who are forced into the unknown as they flee their homes and countries due to armed conflict. In the Belly of the Horse reminds us of our most luminous selves, amidst the darkness, and that in the end ‘memories make us.”

Sylvia Taylor, author of Beckoned by the Sea and The Fisher Queen

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