Born at Bogotá, he studied literature at the Javerian University of Bogotá. He travelled 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 which 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 17 lenguages, and about which a film is now being made, and Vida feliz de un joven llamado Esteban (2000), a novel which has added to his international prestige. He is 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 of El Tiempo of Bogotá, and columnist on the magazine Cromos. He is now residing in Rome.