Popular Latin American Books

30+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Latin American

Discover the list of some best books written on Latin American by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Latin American highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3.3/5

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin , Megan McDowell (Translator)

Experience the blazing, surreal sensation of a fever dream… A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family. Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real wo Experience the blazing, surreal sensation of a fever dream… A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family. Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.

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4.9/5

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin-American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends (an expansion of her 2016 Freeman's essay of the same name) humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction of the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants with the reality of racism and fear both here and back h Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin-American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends (an expansion of her 2016 Freeman's essay of the same name) humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction of the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants with the reality of racism and fear both here and back home."

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3.7/5

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

New York Times and worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil. In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which b New York Times and worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil. In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster—a 60-year-old human rights scholar—hits the car of Evelyn Ortega—a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala—in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz—a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile—for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia. Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende’s landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of “humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics” (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

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3.5/5

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

In the vein of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990's Colombia about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both. The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the cou In the vein of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990's Colombia about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both. The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the country. Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to this protective bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation. When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city's guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona's mysterious ways. But Petrona's unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls' families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. Inspired by the author's own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricable coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras sheds light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.

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4.2/5

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

A dazzling, heartbreaking page-turner destined for breakout status: a novel that gives voice to millions of Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl: teenagers living in an apartment block of immigrant families like their own. After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave México and come to Ameri A dazzling, heartbreaking page-turner destined for breakout status: a novel that gives voice to millions of Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl: teenagers living in an apartment block of immigrant families like their own. After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave México and come to America. But upon settling at Redwood Apartments, a two-story cinderblock complex just off a highway in Delaware, they discover that Maribel's recovery--the piece of the American Dream on which they've pinned all their hopes--will not be easy. Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural obstacles. At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore whose family arrived from Panamá fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in Maribel something others do not: that beyond her lovely face, and beneath the damage she's sustained, is a gentle, funny, and wise spirit. But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their futures in America. Peopled with deeply sympathetic characters, this poignant yet unsentimental tale of young love tells a riveting story of unflinching honesty and humanity that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be an American. An instant classic is born.

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3.5/5

Cinco esquinas by Mario Vargas Llosa

En Cinco esquinas, Mario Vargas Llosa crea un mural riquísimo en detalles y contrastes en el que personajes de muy distintos ambientes sociales se ven afectados por el pavor provocado por el terrorismo de Sendero Luminoso, el periodismo amarillista y la corrupción asociada a las esferas de poder durante el gobierno de Fujimori. La historia comienza cuando Rolando Garro, di En Cinco esquinas, Mario Vargas Llosa crea un mural riquísimo en detalles y contrastes en el que personajes de muy distintos ambientes sociales se ven afectados por el pavor provocado por el terrorismo de Sendero Luminoso, el periodismo amarillista y la corrupción asociada a las esferas de poder durante el gobierno de Fujimori. La historia comienza cuando Rolando Garro, director de un semanario sensacionalista, intenta destruir la reputación de un exitoso ingeniero de minas con unas fotos en las que aparece en una situación comprometida. Todo se tambalea cuando la miseria moral se pone de manifiesto.

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3.6/5

Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego by Mariana Enríquez

El mundo de Mariana Enriquez no tiene por qué ser el nuestro, y, sin embargo, lo termina siendo. Bastan pocas frases para pisarlo, respirarlo y no olvidarlo gracias a una viveza emocional insólita. Con la cotidianidad hecha pesadilla, el lector se despierta abatido, perturbado por historias e imágenes que jamás conseguirá sacarse de la cabeza. Las autodenominadas "mujeres El mundo de Mariana Enriquez no tiene por qué ser el nuestro, y, sin embargo, lo termina siendo. Bastan pocas frases para pisarlo, respirarlo y no olvidarlo gracias a una viveza emocional insólita. Con la cotidianidad hecha pesadilla, el lector se despierta abatido, perturbado por historias e imágenes que jamás conseguirá sacarse de la cabeza. Las autodenominadas "mujeres ardientes", que protestan contra una forma extrema de violencia doméstica que se ha vuelto viral; una estudiante que se arranca las uñas y las pestañas, y otra que intenta ayudarla; los años de apagones dictados por el gobierno durante los cuales se intoxican tres amigas que lo serán hasta que la muerte las separe; el famoso asesino en serie llamado Petiso Orejudo, que sólo tenía nueve años; hikikomori, magia negra, los celos, el desamor, supersticiones rurales, edificios abandonados o encantados... En estos doce cuentos el lector se ve obligado a olvidarse de sí mismo para seguir las peripecias e investigaciones de cuerpos que desaparecen o bien reaparecen en el momento menos esperado. Ya sea una trabajadora social, una policía o un guía turístico, los protagonistas luchan por apadrinar a seres socialmente invisibles, indagando así en el peso de la culpa, la compasión, la crueldad, las dificultades de la convivencia, y en un terror tan hondo como verosímil. Mariana Enriquez es una de las narradoras más valientes y sorprendentes del siglo XXI, no sólo de la nueva literatura argentina a cargo de escritores nacidos durante la dictadura sino de la literatura de cualquier país o lengua. Mariana Enriquez transforma géneros literarios en recursos narrativos, desde la novela negra hasta el realismo sucio, pasando por el terror, la crónica y el humor, y ahonda con dolor y belleza en las raíces, las llamas y las tinieblas de toda existencia.

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3.1/5

Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora

This gorgeous debut speaks with heart-wrenching intimacy and first-hand experience to the hot-button political issues of immigration and border crossings.

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3.6/5

La forma de las ruinas by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

En el año 2014, Carlos Carballo es arrestado por intentar robar el traje de paño de Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, líder político asesinado en Bogotá en 1948. Carballo es un hombre atormentado que busca señales para desentrañar los misterios de un pasado que lo obsesiona. Pero nadie, ni siquiera sus amigos más cercanos, sospecha las razones profundas de su obsesión.

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3.3/5

Citizen Illegal by Josẽ Olivarez

In this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers lik In this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers like Sandra Cisneros and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in. Olivarez has a unique voice that makes him a poet to watch.

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3.2/5

El espíritu de la ciencia ficción by Roberto Bolaño

El espíritu de la ciencia ficción transcurre en México DF durante los años setenta y narra la vida de dos escritores jóvenes que intentan vivir de la literatura. Mientras Remo Morán busca incansablemente la manera de subsistir sin abandonar su sueño, Jan Schrella vive confinado en la pequeña buhardilla que ambos comparten, desde donde envía cartas delirantes a sus escritor El espíritu de la ciencia ficción transcurre en México DF durante los años setenta y narra la vida de dos escritores jóvenes que intentan vivir de la literatura. Mientras Remo Morán busca incansablemente la manera de subsistir sin abandonar su sueño, Jan Schrella vive confinado en la pequeña buhardilla que ambos comparten, desde donde envía cartas delirantes a sus escritores de ciencia ficción favoritos. En la ciudad y en sus vidas todo lo importante parece suceder en ese momento mágico y efímero que separa la noche del día, en ese filo delgadísimo en el que cualquier amor puede tornarse desamor y toda obsesión puede ser el germen de un futuro éxito.

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3.8/5

A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir by Daisy Hernández

A coming-of-age memoir by a Colombian-Cuban woman about shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life   In this lyrical, coming-of-age memoir, Daisy Hernández chronicles what the women in her Cuban-Colombian family taught her about love, money, and race. Her mother warns her about envidia and men who seduce you with pastries, while one tía bemoans that her niece is turni A coming-of-age memoir by a Colombian-Cuban woman about shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life   In this lyrical, coming-of-age memoir, Daisy Hernández chronicles what the women in her Cuban-Colombian family taught her about love, money, and race. Her mother warns her about envidia and men who seduce you with pastries, while one tía bemoans that her niece is turning out to be “una india” instead of an American. Another auntie instructs that when two people are close, they are bound to become like uña y mugre, fingernails and dirt, and that no, Daisy’s father is not godless. He’s simply praying to a candy dish that can be traced back to Africa.  These lessons—rooted in women’s experiences of migration, colonization, y cariño—define in evocative detail what it means to grow up female in an immigrant home. In one story, Daisy sets out to defy the dictates of race and class that preoccupy her mother and tías, but dating women and transmen, and coming to identify as bisexual, leads her to unexpected questions. In another piece, NAFTA shuts local factories in her hometown on the outskirts of New York City, and she begins translating unemployment forms for her parents, moving between English and Spanish, as well as private and collective fears. In prose that is both memoir and commentary, Daisy reflects on reporting for the New York Times as the paper is rocked by the biggest plagiarism scandal in its history and plunged into debates about the role of race in the newsroom. A heartfelt exploration of family, identity, and language, A Cup of Water Under My Bed is ultimately a daughter’s story of finding herself and her community, and of creating a new, queer life.

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3/5

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

A haunting story of love and survival that introduces an unforgettable literary heroine   Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies A haunting story of love and survival that introduces an unforgettable literary heroine   Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes. School is held sporadically, when a volunteer can be coerced away from the big city for a semester. In Guerrero the drug lords are kings, and mothers disguise their daughters as sons, or when that fails they “make them ugly” – cropping their hair, blackening their teeth- anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels. And when the black SUVs roll through town, Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals, tucked safely out of sight.   While her mother waits in vain for her husband’s return, Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds more promise than mere survival, finding humor, solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy. When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco, she seizes the chance, and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there. But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend, Ladydi’s future takes a dark turn. Despite the odds against her, this spirited heroine’s resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions.   An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of an unjust war, PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.

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4.8/5

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet

The arresting debut novel from award-winning writer Jennine Capó Crucet When Lizet—the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school—secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells The arresting debut novel from award-winning writer Jennine Capó Crucet When Lizet—the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school—secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy—Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom—without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family, especially her mother. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it's the new story of what it means to be American today.

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3.5/5

The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis

From one of the leading lights of contemporary Latin American literature—a lush, lyrical, deeply moving story of a young woman whose passion for the early sounds of tango becomes a force of profound and unexpected change. February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, carrying only a small trunk and her father’s cherished violin, leaves her Italian village for a new home, and a ne From one of the leading lights of contemporary Latin American literature—a lush, lyrical, deeply moving story of a young woman whose passion for the early sounds of tango becomes a force of profound and unexpected change. February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, carrying only a small trunk and her father’s cherished violin, leaves her Italian village for a new home, and a new husband, in Argentina. Arriving in Buenos Aires, she discovers that he has been killed, but she remains: living in a tenement, without friends or family, on the brink of destitution. Still, she is seduced by the music that underscores life in the city: tango, born from lower-class immigrant voices, now the illicit, scandalous dance of brothels and cabarets. Leda eventually acts on a long-held desire to master the violin, knowing that she can never play in public as a woman. She cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and becomes “Dante,” a young man who joins a troupe of tango musicians bent on conquering the salons of high society. Now, gradually, the lines between Leda and Dante begin to blur, and feelings that she has long kept suppressed reveal themselves, jeopardizing not only her musical career, but her life. Richly evocative of place and time, its prose suffused with the rhythms of the tango, its narrative at once resonant and gripping, this is De Robertis’s most accomplished novel yet.

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4.8/5

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez , Gregory Rabassa (Translator)

The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as "magical realism."

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3.8/5

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez , Edith Grossman (Translator)

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is heartbroken, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is heartbroken, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

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4.2/5

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende , Magda Bogin (Translator)

In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherwor In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future. The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.

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3.7/5

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez , Gregory Rabassa (translator)

A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to mur A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to murder Santiago Nasar for dishonoring their sister. Yet if everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to try and stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society--not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.

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3.1/5

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel , Thomas Christensen (Translator) , Carol Christensen (Translator)

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit - and recipes. A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her, so that Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

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4.4/5

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho , Alan R. Clarke (Translator) , Özdemir İnce (Translator)

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read t Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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3.8/5

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo , Margaret Sayers Peden (Translator) , Susan Sontag (Foreword)

A classic of Mexican modern literature about a haunted village. As one enters Juan Rulfo's legendary novel, one follows a dusty road to a town of death. Time shifts from one consciousness to another in a hypnotic flow of dreams, desires, and memories, a world of ghosts dominated by the figure of Pedro Páramo - lover, overlord, murderer. Rulfo's extraordinary mix of sensory i A classic of Mexican modern literature about a haunted village. As one enters Juan Rulfo's legendary novel, one follows a dusty road to a town of death. Time shifts from one consciousness to another in a hypnotic flow of dreams, desires, and memories, a world of ghosts dominated by the figure of Pedro Páramo - lover, overlord, murderer. Rulfo's extraordinary mix of sensory images, violent passions, and unfathomable mysteries has been a profound influence on a whole generation of Latin American writers, including Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Gabriel García Márquez. To read Pedro Páramo today is as overwhelming an experience as when it was first published in Mexico in 1955.

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3.2/5

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges , Anthony Kerrigan (translator) , Anthony Bonner (translator)

The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges's genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal's abyss, the surreal and lite The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges's genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal's abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything else in between. Part One: The Garden of Forking Paths Prologue Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (1940) The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim (1936, not included in the 1941 edition) Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote (1939) The Circular Ruins (1940) The Lottery in Babylon (1941) An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain (1941) The Library of Babel (1941) The Garden of Forking Paths (1941) Part Two: Artifices Prologue Funes the Memorious (1942) The Form of the Sword (1942) Theme of the Traitor and the Hero (1944) Death and the Compass (1942) The Secret Miracle (1943) Three Versions of Judas (1944) The End (1953, 2nd edition only) The Sect of the Phoenix (1952, 2nd edition only) The South (1953, 2nd edition only)

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4.7/5

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño , Natasha Wimmer (Translator)

New Year’s Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesárea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run. The explosive first long work b New Year’s Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesárea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run. The explosive first long work by “the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time” (Ilan Stavans, Los Angeles Times), The Savage Detectives follows Belano and Lima through the eyes of the people whose paths they cross in Central America, Europe, Israel, and West Africa. This chorus includes the muses of visceral realism, the beautiful Font sisters; their father, an architect interned in a Mexico City asylum; a sensitive young follower of Octavio Paz; a foul-mouthed American graduate student; a French girl with a taste for the Marquis de Sade; the great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky; a Chilean stowaway with a mystical gift for numbers; the anorexic heiress to a Mexican underwear empire; an Argentinian photojournalist in Angola; and assorted hangers-on, detractors, critics, lovers, employers, vagabonds, real-life literary figures, and random acquaintances. A polymathic descendant of Borges and Pynchon, Roberto Bolaño traces the hidden connection between literature and violence in a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant-garde. The Savage Detectives is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty-first century.

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4.2/5

Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar , Gregory Rabassa (Translator)

Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club." A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club." A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the dazzling, freewheeling account of Oliveira's astonishing adventures. The book is highly influenced by Henry Miller’s reckless and relentless search for truth in post-decadent Paris and Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki’s modal teachings on Zen Buddhism. Cortázar's employment of interior monologue, punning, slang, and his use of different languages is reminiscent of Modernist writers like Joyce, although his main influences were Surrealism and the French New Novel, as well as the "riffing" aesthetic of jazz and New Wave Cinema. In 1966, Gregory Rabassa won the first National Book Award to recognize the work of a translator, for his English-language edition of Hopscotch. Julio Cortázar was so pleased with Rabassa's translation of Hopscotch that he recommended the translator to Gabriel García Márquez when García Márquez was looking for someone to translate his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude into English. "Rabassa's One Hundred Years of Solitude improved the original," according to García Márquez.

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4/5

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel García Márquez , Edith Grossman (Translator)

Memories of My Melancholy Whores is Gabriel García Márquez’s first work of fiction in ten years, written at the height of his powers, the Spanish edition of which Ilan Stavans called, “Masterful. Erotic. As hypnotizing as it is disturbing” (Los Angeles Times). On the eve of his ninetieth birthday, our unnamed protagonist–an undistinguished journalist and lifelong bachelor–d Memories of My Melancholy Whores is Gabriel García Márquez’s first work of fiction in ten years, written at the height of his powers, the Spanish edition of which Ilan Stavans called, “Masterful. Erotic. As hypnotizing as it is disturbing” (Los Angeles Times). On the eve of his ninetieth birthday, our unnamed protagonist–an undistinguished journalist and lifelong bachelor–decides to give himself “the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.” The girl, whom an old madam procures for him, is splendidly young, with the silent power of a sleeping beauty. The night of love blossoms into a transforming year. It is a year in which he relives, in a rush of memories, his lifetime of (paid-for) sexual adventures and experiences a revelation that brings him to the edge of dying–not of old age, but, at long last, of uncorrupted love. Memories of My Melancholy Whores is a brilliant gem by the master storyteller.

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4.1/5

2666 by Roberto Bolaño

A cuatro profesores de literatura, Pelletier, Morini, Espinoza y Norton, los une su fascinación por la obra de Beno von Archimboldi, un enigmático escritor alemán cuyo prestigio crece en todo el mundo. La complicidad se vuelve vodevil intelectual y desemboca en un peregrinaje a Santa Teresa (trasunto de Ciudad Juárez), donde hay quien dice que Archimboldi ha sido visto. Ya A cuatro profesores de literatura, Pelletier, Morini, Espinoza y Norton, los une su fascinación por la obra de Beno von Archimboldi, un enigmático escritor alemán cuyo prestigio crece en todo el mundo. La complicidad se vuelve vodevil intelectual y desemboca en un peregrinaje a Santa Teresa (trasunto de Ciudad Juárez), donde hay quien dice que Archimboldi ha sido visto. Ya allí, Pelletier y Espinoza se enteran de que la ciudad es desde años atrás escenario de una larga cadena de crímenes: en los vertederos aparecen cadáveres de mujeres con señales de haber sido violadas y torturadas. Es el primer asomo de la novela a sus procelosos caudales, repletos de personajes memorables cuyas historias, a caballo entre la risa y el horror, abarcan dos continentes e incluyen un vertiginoso travelling por la historia europea del siglo XX. 2666 confirma el veredicto de Susan Sontag: "el más influyente y admirado novelista en lengua española de su generación. Su muerte, a los cincuenta años, es una gran pérdida para la literatura".

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4.6/5

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukœ—the curse that has haunted t Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukœ—the curse that has haunted the Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim. Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss. A true literary triumph, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao confirms Junot Diaz as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time.

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4.8/5

Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez

On her twelfth birthday, Sierva Maria, the only child of a decaying noble family in an eighteenth-century South American seaport, is bitten by a rabid dog. Believed to be possessed, she is brought to a convent for observation. And into her cell stumbles Father Cayetano Delaura, who has already dreamed about a girl with hair trailing after her like a bridal train. As he ten On her twelfth birthday, Sierva Maria, the only child of a decaying noble family in an eighteenth-century South American seaport, is bitten by a rabid dog. Believed to be possessed, she is brought to a convent for observation. And into her cell stumbles Father Cayetano Delaura, who has already dreamed about a girl with hair trailing after her like a bridal train. As he tends to her with holy water and sacramental oils, Delaura feels something shocking begin to occur. He has fallen in love, and it isn't long until Sierva Maria joins him in his fevered misery. Unsettling and indelible, Of Love and Other Demons is an evocative, majestic tale of the most universal experiences known to woman and man.

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4.5/5

The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa , Edith Grossman (Translator)

Haunted all her life by feelings of terror and emptiness, forty-nine-year-old Urania Cabral returns to her native Dominican Republic - and finds herself reliving the events of 1961, when the capital was still called Trujillo City and one old man terrorized a nation of three million people. Rafael Trujillo, the depraved ailing dictator whom Dominicans call the Goat, control Haunted all her life by feelings of terror and emptiness, forty-nine-year-old Urania Cabral returns to her native Dominican Republic - and finds herself reliving the events of 1961, when the capital was still called Trujillo City and one old man terrorized a nation of three million people. Rafael Trujillo, the depraved ailing dictator whom Dominicans call the Goat, controls his inner circle with a combination of violence and blackmail. In Trujillo's gaudy palace, treachery and cowardice have become the way of life. But Trujillo's grasp is slipping away. There is a conspiracy against him, and a Machiavellian revolution already underway that will have bloody consequences of its own. In this 'masterpiece of Latin American and world literature, and one of the finest political novels ever written' ("Bookforum"), Mario Vargas Llosa recounts the end of a regime and the birth of a terrible democracy, giving voice to the historical Trujillo and the victims, both innocent and complicit, drawn into his deadly orbit.

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