All Time Faves: Latin & Central American Authors

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House of the Spirits
By Allende, Isabel
1985/04 - Alfred A. Knopf
0394539079 Find It

A best seller and critical success all over the world, The House of the Spirits is the magnificent epic of the Trueba family -- their loves, their ambitions, their spiritual quests, their relations with one another, and their participation in the history of their times, a history that becomes destiny and overtakes them all.

We begin -- at the turn of the century, in an unnamed South American country -- in the childhood home of the woman who will be the mother and grandmother of the clan, Clara del Valle. A warm-hearted, hypersensitive girl, Clara has distinguished herself from an early age with her telepathic abilities -- she can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, the fabled Rosa the Beautiful, Clara has been mute for nine years, res ...More

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Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
By Amado, Jorge
2006/09 - Vintage Books USA
9780307276650 Find It

Ilheus in 1925 is a booming town with a record cacao crop and aspirations for progress, but the traditional ways prevail. When Colonel Mendonca discovers his wife in bed with a lover, he shoots and kills them both. Political contests, too, can be settled by gunshot...
No one imagines that a bedraggled migrant worker who turns up in town-least of all Gabriela herself-will be the agent of change. Nacib Saad has just lost the cook at his popular cafe and in desperation hires Gabriela. To his surprise she turns out to be a great beauty as well as a wonderful cook and an enchanting boon to his business. But what would people say if Nacib were to marry her?

Lusty, satirical and full of intrigue, "Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" is a vastly entertaining panorama of small town Brazilian life. ...More

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Collected Fictions
By Borges, Jorge Luis
1998/09 - Viking Books
0670849707 Find It

The first complete collection of stories by one of the great masters of 20th-century literature, from his 1935 debut with "The Universal History of Iniquity" to his bestselling novels of the 1980s. ...More

Book Cover Tango for a Torturer
By Chavarria, Daniel
2007/05 - Akashic Books
9781933354194 Find It

 

Aldo Bianchi, a former Argentine revolutionary now living in Italy, travels to Havana, where he meets the beautiful Bini, a sultry student with great charm and panache working the hotels. Bianchi soon discovers via his liaison with Bini that his nemesis, the Uruguayan military torturer Alberto Rios, is living under a false identity in Cuba. Putting his tropical holiday on hold, Bianchi goes on the hunt for his sadistic enemy.

Daniel Chavarria authentically portrays the sensuousness and skullduggery of contemporary Havana, a city that offers erotic thrills to pleasure-seeking tourists, even as it hides villains in its humid embrace. While Rios thrives on bribery and corruption, Bianchi is driven by a desire to see justice done. Tango for a Torturer is a sexy and political thriller chock-full of bawdy humor and chilling evocations ...More

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The Alchemist
By Coelho, Paulo
2003/03 - HarperSanFrancisco
0062502182 Find It

A tale about the lessons a Spanish shepherd boy learns during his travels to Egypt in search of treasure. ...More

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Like Water for Chocolate
By Esquivel, Laura
1995/10 - Tandem Library
0785721665 Find It

With more than two million copies in print, this beloved novel has become a treasured part of America's literary memory. Now, for the first time, this "tall-tale, fairy-tale, soap opera romance, Mexican cookbook, and home-remedy handbook all rolled into one" (San Francisco Chronicle) is available in trade paper with the original art from the hardcover. ...More

The Death of Artemio Cruz
By Fuentes, Carlos
1991/05 - Farrar Straus Giroux
0374522839 Find It

Hailed as a masterpiece since its publication in 1962, "The Death of Artemio Cruz" is Carlos Fuentes's haunting voyage into the soul of modern Mexico. Its acknowledged place in Latin American fiction and its appeal to a fresh generation of readers have warranted this new translation by Alfred Mac Adam, translator (with the author) of Fuentes's "Christopher Unborn".
As in all his fiction, but perhaps most powerfully in this book, Fuentes is a passionate guide to the ironies of Mexican history, the burden of its past, and the anguish of its present.
...More

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One Hundred Years of Solitude
By Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
1998/11 - Harper Perennial
0060929790 Find It

An Oprah's Book Club selection
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a gifted writer, and nowhere does he write with the fervor that he does in One Hundred Years of Solitude, a pleasurable ride unmatched in modern literature.
...More

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December Heat: An Inspector Espinoza Mystery
By Garcia-Roza, Luiz Alfredo
2003/06 - Henry Holt & Company
0805068902 Find It

When a retired policeman spends an alcohol-filled evening with his girlfriend, a prostitute, he wakes up the next morning to find her murdered. Inspector Espinosa is convinced there's more to it than meets the eye, and when other bodies turn up, he finds himself not only racing after a killer but falling in love. ...More

Book Cover Havana Black: A Mario Conde Mystery
By Padura, Leonardo
2006/06 - Bitter Lemon Press
9781904738152 Find It

 

Praise for "Havana Red", the first of the Lt. Conde series:

"A scorching novel from a star of Cuban fiction. Conde's quest follows the basic rhythm of the whodunit, but Padura syncopates it with brilliant literary riffs on Cuban sex, society, religion, even food."-"Independent"

The brutally mutilated body of Miguel Forcade is discovered washed up on a Havana beach. Head smashed in by a baseball bat, genitals cut off by a dull knife. Forcade was once responsible for the confiscation of art works from the bourgeoisie fleeing the revolution. ...More

Book Cover The War of the End of the World
By Vargas Llosa, Mario
1997/02 - Penguin Books
0140262601 Find It

 

Deep within the remote backlands of 19th-century Brazil sits Canudosa libertarian paradise. Home of prostitutes, bandits, beggars, Canudos embodies the revolutionary spirit in its purest and most apocalyptic form. In one of his most brilliant and tragic novels, Mario Vargas Llosa creates an unforgettable tale of passion, idealism, adventure, and man's struggle to be free. ...More

 

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