Monday, December 31, 2012

A Literary Tour of Latin America

From January 2013 to September 2014, I have decided to read one novel from one Latin American country each month. 

I define Latin America as the countries situated in the American continent and region where the official and de facto languages are the Romance languages Spanish and Portuguese.

(UPDATE: I've decided to leave out the Francophone Americas because that works as an independent project in itself.)

The list of countries and novels is as follows. The novels were chosen by recommendation and my own fancy. However, I'm trying to be as contemporary as possible since I'm interested in current literature as opposed to "classics".

Note: I will read all the novels from Spanish-speaking countries in Spanish.

January: Argentina - El fondo del cielo, by Rodrigo Fresán
February: Bolivia - El lugar del cuerpo, by Rodrigo Hasbún
March: Brasil - O livro das Emoções (The Book of Emotions), by João Almino
April: Chile - Locuela, by Carlos Labbé
May: Colombia - Los ejércitos, by Evelio Rosero
June: Costa Rica - El Emperador Tertuliano y la Legión de los Superlimpiosby Rodolfo Arias Formoso
July: Cuba - El hombre que amaba a los perros, by Leonardo Padura
August: Ecuador - La piel del miedo, by Javier Vásconez
September: El Salvador - Tirana memoria, by Horacio Castellano Moya
October: Guatemala - Severina, by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
November: Honduras - Azul maligno, by César Rodríguez Indiano
December: México - Nadie me verá llorar, by Cristina Rivera Garza

January: Nicaragua - La fugitiva, by Sergio Ramírez
February: Panamá - Nostalgia de tu risa loca, by Carlos Oriel Wynter Melo
March: Paraguay - Yo, el Supremo, by Augusto Roa Bastos
May: Perú - Abril rojo, by Santiago Roncagliolo
June: Puerto Rico - Exquisito cadáver, by Rafael Acevedo
July: República Dominicana - Papi, by Rita Indiana
August: Uruguay - El discurso vacío, by Mario Levrero
September: Venezuela - Iniciaciones, by Israel Centeno


  1. The one you chose for Colombia is a little old. Los Ejércitos, by Evelio Rosero, or La luz difícil, by Tomás González may be better suited for your plan.

  2. Javier, thanks for the recommendation. I will read Los ejércitos instead. However, I'm still intrigued by Caicedo, so I will read it as well -- just not as part of this list.

  3. Gran iniciativa, tu lista me maravilla. Imprescindible recomendación guatemalteca: Rey Rosa. Castellanos Moya, Rosero y Hasbún son "personal favorites".

  4. I love this idea! I am not familiar with the novel you have chosen for Argentina, but I must recommend Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras. It's one of the best books I have read in any language. I also recommend Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat of Haiti. It's interrelated short stories and a beautiful book. I also enjoyed her novel Breathe, Eyes, Memory, but Krik? Krak! is my favorite.

  5. Qué idea peregrina. Excelente.
    Algunas recomendaciones totalmente personales:

    -Ecuador: Pablo Palacios, "Vida del ahorcado (una novela subjetiva) [1932]
    -Perú: Cronwell Jara, "Montacerdos" [1981/2004]
    -México: Yuri Herrera, "Señales que precederán al fin del mundo" [2008]
    -Martinique: Édouard Glissant, "Ormerod" [2003]
    -Uruguay: Marosa di Giorgio: "Misales" [1983]
    -Venezuela: Israel Centeno: "Iniciaciones" [2006]