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Suggested Argentina Readings

Argentina's rich and tumultuous history has been documented in a wide array of renown non-fictional and literary works. Reading about Argentina from the perspectives of both native and foreign authors will give you a wonderfully multi-faceted view of the famously enigmatic country. Since listing all the great Argentine literature could undoubtedly fill a book, here are just a few choice titles to get you started:

Julio Cortázar. Final del juego/End of the Game. Punto de Lectura: January 30, 2009

A collection of eighteen short stories from one of Argentina's most famous writers, End of the Game serves as a great introduction to Latin America's foremost literary genre, magical realism. Cortázar's trippy masterpiece, “The Night Face Up,” is particularly worth a look, and will have you thinking twice about what defines reality.

Brian Winter. Long After Midnight at the Ni no Bien: A Yanqui's Missteps in Argentina. Public Affairs: March 4, 2008

While this memoir of a naive young Texan journalist searching for adventure in what he perceives to be the most passionate country in the world is often hilarious and full of affectionate characterizations of the people and places of Buenos Aires, it also offers some shrewd insights into one of the most difficult times in Argentine history: the social and economic upheavals of the '90s.

V.S. Naipaul. The Return of Eva Peron. Abascus: December 1, 2008

Although Nobel prize-winning British author V.S. Naipaul's controversial work on Peronism and colonialism in the '70s offers a critical, rather harsh view of Argentina, it also offers readers intriguing insights into the country's relations with the rest of the world.

Manuel Puig. Kiss of the Spider Woman. Vintage: April 3, 1991

Argentine Manuel Puig's unorthodox novel is written almost completely in dialogue between two cell mates imprisoned during Juan Peron's regime: one, a window-dresser arrested for being openly homosexual, and the other, a radical revolutionary arrested for trying to overthrow the government. The characterizations are complex and realistic, giving readers an intimate look at what it was like to be an ordinary person caught on the bad side of a famously controversial government.

27 Aug 2010

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