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Books & Authors

Contemporary Latin American Authors

You're probably familiar with the giants of Latin American literature — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende and Jorge Luis Borges, to name just a few — but have you read any of the lesser-known (for now) Latin American authors publishing today? Tinged with magical realism but rooted firmly in contemporary society, the following critically-acclaimed titles carry on the tradition of creative experimentation. 


The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia. When Antonio Yammara reads about a hippo escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, he is inspired to investigate the life of his murdered friend and his country's recent violent past.


Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
A multi-layered story told by two narrators: a 21st-century Emily Dickinson living in Mexico City who relates to the world vicariously through her children and a past that both overwhelms and liberates her, and a dying poet living in a run-down apartment in Philadelphia in the 1950s.


My Documents by Alejandro Zambra
The award-winning Chilean Zambra gives us 11 stories of liars and ghosts, armed bandits and young lovers — brilliant portraits of life in Chile before and after Pinochet. The cumulative effect is that of a novel, or of 11 brief novels, intimate and uncanny, archived until now in a desktop folder innocuously called "My Documents."


Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera
Traversing the lonely territory between Mexico and the United States is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages — one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.


The Dream of My Return by Horacio Castellanos Moya
An exiled journalist in Mexico City dreams of returning home to El Salvador. But is it really a dream or a nightmare? When he decides to treat his liver pain with hypnosis, his few impulse-control mechanisms rapidly dissolve. Hair-brained schemes, half-mad arguments, unraveling murder plots: everything escalates at a maniacal pace.


At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcon
Nelson's life is not turning out the way he hoped. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man, his brother has left their South American country and his acting career can't seem to get off the ground. That is, until he lands a starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President, a legendary play by Nelson's hero, Henry Nunez. And that's when the real trouble begins.

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