Suggested adult fiction/nonfiction books written by Latin American authors. (2014)

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The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende

ALLENDE

A magnificent saga of proud and passionate men and women and the turbulent times through which they suffer and triumph. They are the Truebas. And theirs is a world you will not want to leave, and one you will not forget.


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In the Time of the Butterflies
Julia Alvarez

ALVAREZ

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.


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Bless Me, Ultima
Rudolfo Anaya

ANAYA

Tony faces the daunting prospect of growing up amidst constant religious and cultural uncertainty. His mother is a devoted Catholic, but her influence is challenged by Ultima—a woman with magical healing powers. As Tony follows his own path toward adulthood, he relies on Ultima’s wisdom. With her guidance, he is able to forge his unique identity.


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The Savage Detectives
Roberto Bolaño

BOLANO

Two modern-day Quixotes—the last survivors of an underground literary movement, perhaps of literature itself—go on a tragicomic quest through Mexico City, Barcelona, Israel, Liberia, and finally the desert of northern Mexico.


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The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho

COELHO

Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, is travelling the world in search of a worldly treasure as fabulous as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers, and from there into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with alchemist awaits him.


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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Junot Diaz

DIAZ

Oscar is an overweight Dominican from the ghetto in New Jersey. He dreams of becoming a writer and finding love, but Fukœ, the curse has haunted his family for generations.


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Happy Families
Carlos Fuentes

FUENTES

All the stories inhabit Fuentes’ trademark Mexico, where modern obsessions bump up against those of the mythic past—and the result is a triumphant display of the many ways we reach out to one another and find salvation through irrepressible acts of love.


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Dreaming in Cuban
Cristina García

GARCIA

Here is a dreamy and bittersweet story of a family divided by politics and geography by the Cuban revolution. It is the family story of Celia del Pino, and her husband, daughter, and grandchildren, from the mid-1930s to 1980. Celia’s story mirrors the magical realism of Cuba itself, a country of beauty and poverty, idealism and corruption.


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One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

CLASSIC GARCIA MARQUEZ

This is the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Inventive, amusing, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.


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The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire
C. M. Mayo

MAYO

A fictionalized account of the reign of the archduke of Austria, Maximillian von Hapsburg, as emperor of Mexico.


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The Postman
Antonio Skármeta

SKARMETA

Tells of young love ignited by the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Set in the colorful, ebullient years preceding the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.


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The Hummingbird's Daughter
Luis Alberto Urrea

URREA

Teresita is not an ordinary girl. Born of an illiterate, poor Indian mother, she knows little about her past or her future. She has no idea that her father is Don Tomas Urrea, the wild and rich owner of a vast ranch in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, or that Huila, the elderly healer who takes Teresita under her wing, knows secrets about her destiny.


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The Dream of the Celt
Mario Vargas Llosa

VARGAS LLOSA

Explores the life of Sir Roger Casement, a British consul and Irish nationalist who was hanged for treason after he challenged the British authority in Northern Ireland.


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The Book of Imaginary Beings
Jorge Luis Borges

SPIRIT PARA BOR

A compilation of 116 “strange creatures conceived through time and space by the human imagination,” from dragons and centaurs to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat and the Morlocks of H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine.


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