South America

Top 10 Latin America Novels to Read

Tara Sutherland

Tara Sutherland  |  4 March 2018

When I travel, (or sometimes after an amazing trip)  I love to take along a good read that relates to where I am travelling.  Latin America writers have a lot to offer and many are readily available in English, as well as some fascinating travel memoirs.

Here are some of my recommend reads:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

One of the best known novels to come out of South America, by this award winning Colombian author. Written in the “Magical Realism” style, which can take a little adjust too at first if you are not familiar with it, but don’t take things too seriously and you can become engrossed in the this multi-generational story of the Buendía family set in a mystical Colombian town.

2. House of Spirits, Isabel Allende 

International best seller following a local family, tracing the post-colonial social and political upheavals of Chile.

3. The Motorcycle Diaries, Che Guevara

A memoir, this one has also been made into a movie of the same name, it follows the travels and adventures of a young Che Guevara on his motorbike around South America

4. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life , Jon Lee Anderson

Hmm…I guess I have a fascination about Che! This one is a well research biography on Che Guevaras life.

5. In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin

A great read if you are joining our Wild Patagonia tour!! This is an English writers account of his journey through Patagonia in the early 70s.

6. The Old Gringo, Carlos Fuentes

A great Mexican novel that explores themes of death, cultural exchange, and Mexican identity.

7. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

Another well know Mexican novelist, following a young woman who longs for her lover, but tradition prevents their marriage, so she expresses herself through cooking.

8. Who Killed Palomino Molero? Mario Vargas Llosa

My favourite Pervian writer, this is a detective novel set in 1950s Peru.

9. The Raw Scent of Vanilla (A Memoir), Emilia Bresciani

Memoir set in Peru and Australia, Emilia turns to the wisdom of the Amazon jungle when tragedy strikes.

10. On Mexican Time: A new life in San Miguel, Tony Cohan

The experiences of an American and his wife that fell in love with San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and uprooted their lives to move there.

Latin America Novels

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There are so many more great stories to discover, let your next trip to South America  inspire you!

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