Broaden Your Shelves: Latin American Edition

For this edition of the Broaden Your Shelves series, the spotlight is on Latin American (including some Caribbean) authors! These authors heavily channel their experiences from their native country into their literature, and their work is rich with their respective culture. Listed below are a few authors I have read or studied and whose work has opened windows into countries I have never traveled to. Latin America is a region full of diversity, pain, determination, and insane beauty. Reading about these places and the lives of those in them (fictional or not) gives you a taste of what they are like. Pick an author, a country, or a title from below and broaden your shelves!  

-Alejandro Zambra (Chile) "The Private Lives of Trees, Bonsai, My Documents"


-Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Columbia) "Love in the Time of Cholera," "One Hundred Years of Solitude," "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," "Of Love and Other Demons"

One of my favorite authors, Marquez flawlessly writes masterpieces laden with magical realism and an unwavering sense of hope.


-Glenville Lovell (Barbados) "Fire in the Canes," "Song of the Night," "Too Beautiful to Die"


-Horacio Castellanos Moya (El Salvador) "Senselessness"


-Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua and Barbuda) "The Autobiography of My Mother," "A Small Place," "My Brother, Lucy," "Annie John"

Another of my personal favorites, Kincaid tends to focus on the female experience and the coming of age perspective in her novels.


-João Ubaldo Ribeiro (Brazil) "House of the Fortunate Buddhas," "An Invincible Memory," "Sergeant Getúlio"


-Jorges Luis Borges (Argentina) "Ficciones," "The Book of Imaginary Beings," "Collected Fictions," "The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory"


-Junot Diaz (Dominican Republic) "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," "This is How You Lose Her"


-Laura Esquivel (Mexico) "Like Water for Chocolate," "Malinche: A Novel"


-Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) "Death in the Andes," "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter," "The Storyteller"


-Miguel Angel Asturias (Guatemala) "The President," "Legends of Guatemala," "Men of Maize"