On Thursday the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to celebrated French author Patrick Modiano. So, inspired by literary greatness, we decided to come up with our favourite novels by South American authors, set in South America, (obviously!) to make you fall head over heals in love with this beautiful continent, and learn a little more about their cultures. The perfect beach, plane or poolside reads.

Motorcycle Diaries – Ernesto Che Guevara 41FG6R9JJGL

Far removed from the iconic guerrilla and revolutionary we know today, although you do begin to see his political side awakening over the course of the journey, a young Che Guevara leaves Argentina with a friend on a light-hearted journey, discovering their continent – something you won’t be able to stop yourself from doing when you finish reading. One of the greatest adventure accounts and a great South America travel book, you are sure to be inspired by the tales of crossing the Pantanal, a stop in a Peruvian leper colony, or the beauty of Cusco.

Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquezlove-in-time-of-cholera

A beautiful novel about unrequited love. Follow hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza as he pines after the love of his life, newly widowed Fermina Daza. Absorb yourself in their lives under the hot Colombian sun, and come to understand, through Garcia Marquez’s beautifully poetic language, the celebration of the many kinds of love between a man and a woman.


The Double Death of Quincas Water-Bray – Jorge Amadojorge amado

A bizarre but enchantingly funny tale of Joaquim Soares da Cunha, who after abandoning his life as an upstanding citizen, drops dead, only to assume the identity of Quincas Water-Bray, a drunk and a beggar who carries the reader with him on a post-mortem journey out to sea. Amado includes stunning descriptions of Brazil, a country he clearly loves, and so will you.


The House of Spirits – Isabel Allendeisabel allende

A memoir of Isabel Allende’s life growing up in Peru, focussing on the eccentric members of her family, it’s a richly entertaining and unforgettable novel. Intertwined within accounts of her mad family, Allende includes political metaphors alongside important figures like Pablo Neruda, her Uncle and Victor Jara. This masterpiece of modern literature is sure to be one that you will read over and over again.


The Time of the Hero – Mario Vargas Llosallosa

Vargas Llosa’s first novel, written when he was just 26, is a deeply political affair, and many copies were burned when it was first published. It follows the story of a group of cadets in Lima, attempting to break out of the cruel military discipline, but in doing so setting off a cycle of betrayal, murder and revenge, putting the entire military hierarchy at risk. Acclaimed as one the most outstanding Spanish novels, this social satire promises an exciting and captivating read.

Read more of our writing on Latino literary legends here and here


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