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The Literature of Bolivia

Bolivia has traditionally been poor, isolated and backward, and its inhabitants are often illiterate or do not speak Spanish as a first language. It is not surprising, then, that it does not have the rich literary tradition of many of its neighbors such as Peru or Argentina.

That’s not to say there’s nothing there at all, however. Here are some writers you might want to check out:

  • Alcides Arguedas (1879-1946) was one of the founders of the indigenist movement, which sought to portray native peoples in a positive light for the first time and to denounce the poor treatment they were receiving at the hand of rich white creoles. His novel Men of Bronze is a well-known literary work.
  • Victor Montoya (1958-) is a survivor of the Banzer dictatorship. As an intellectual and writer, he was jailed and tortured like many South Americans of his generation. His novels and stories often tell interesting tales from the dictatorship era.
  • Gaston Suárez (1929-1984) was one of Bolivia’s more literary writers and a minor figure in the Latin American “boom” of the 1950’s to 1970’s.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Bolivia: Did Butch Cassidy Really Die in Bolivia?, Northwest Bolivia: History, History of Copacabana, The History of Bolivia, History, History, History and Central Highlands History.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
29 Apr 2009

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