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Suggested Reading

While Bolivia is not known for its literary achievements, there is still a fairly large collection of social and political commentaries and memoirs that will help travelers understand some of the deeper societal problems in Bolivia today.

Powers, William D., Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization. 2006, Bloomsbury Press: USA.

As an aid worker for an environmental conservation group in Bolivia, Powers writes a first-hand account of the economic and political struggle in this tiny Andean country. With the help of both multinational corporations and the local indigenous tribe, Powers attempts to save a small part of the rainforest and while doing so writes a heartbreaking Bolivian memoir and social commentary.

Santos, Rosario (Editor), The Fat Man from La Paz: Contemporary Fiction from Bolivia. 2003, Seven Stories Press: New York.

A collection of short stories from Bolivian authors where the topics range from war stories to childhood memories. The editor Rosario Santos did a brilliant job of combining stories of love, fantasy and political tribulations into a classic compilations of Bolivian literature where none previously existed.

Tang, Irwin and Huang, Chi Chang, When Invisible Children Sing. 2006, Salt River Press: Arizona.

As a fourth-year Harvard medical student, Huang spent the year in Bolivia working with La Paz street children who live in filth and have daily encounters with violence. The book is written through the eyes of the "invisible" street children who spend their days avoiding rape, beatings and hunger. Each account is told simply and with unfailingly honesty.

Young, Rusty and McFadden, Thomas, Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail. 2004, St. Martin's Griffin Press: New York City.

The story begins in the infamous San Pedro Prison in Bolivia, where a young traveler (Rusty Young) takes an illegal tour of the jail given by inmate Thomas McFadden. A friendship ensues and Rusty bribes the guides and spends three months inside this corrupt South American prison where inmates must purchase their own cell and food. The result is a moving look inside the daily life of an incarcerated drug-dealer in one of Bolivia´s most notorious prisons.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Bolivia: Traveler's Checks in Bolivia, The People of Bolivia, Traveling with Children in Bolivia, The Media in Bolivia, When to Go, Useful Addresses, Bolivia Transportation- Getting To and Away from Bolivia, Lodging, Travel Insurance in Bolivia and Getting to and away.

By Michelle Lillie
I am currently living on my fourth continent. I think that backpacks are one of the greatest inventions of all times. I adhere to the idea that if...
11 Jan 2010

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