This coming April 14th is Pan American Day. We are taking this opportunity to present a selection of books below, from our catalogue. Next time you are considering something new to read, why not choose a book set in one of these amazing countries

Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys [B0809]

In Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’, Mr Rochester is not free to marry because of Bertha, his mad and bad wife secreted in the attic. Dominican born Jean Rhys sympathetically re-imagines the Jamaican life of a young Creole heiress, Rochester’s courtship and the early years of their marriage, turning many of Brontë’s values and assumptions inside out.

The House of the Spirits

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende [B1176]

This is the beautiful, touching story of the Trueba family, following their lives through the post-colonial social and political upheavals in Chile in the Latin American magic realism style. Follow volatile patriarch Esteban, his wife Clara, their daughter Blanca and their granddaughter Alba in this epic novel of love, magic and fate.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez [B1247]

The consummation of Florentino Ariza’s passionate love for Fermina Daza is delayed for fifty years by her highly satisfactory marriage to Dr Juvenal Urbino. Magical yet realistic – this astonishing work is crowded with life and love stories of the Caribbean country where it is set. Smallish print.

Of Love and Shadows

Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende [B1349]

Journalist Irene has enjoyed a privileged upbringing and is engaged to an army captain when she is partnered with photographer Francisco. They soon become an inseparable investigative team, and when they discover an unspeakable crime perpetrated under the chilling political regime of their country, they must risk everything to reveal the truth – and to admit the truth about their passion for each other. A magical, captivating read.

Havana Bay

Havana Bay by Martin Cruz Smith [B1761]

Arkady Renko first appeared in 1981 as the maverick Moscow policeman in Gorky Park. Now Arkady has arrived in Cuba to investigate the death of a Russian embassy worker. A richly intricate spy thriller, made more compelling by its evocation of a threadbare, vibrant, dangerous Havana with the insinuation of music never far away.

A Death in Brazil

A Death in Brazil by Peter Robb [B1827]

Robb paints a picture of South America’s largest and most mysterious country, blending personal journey with a portrait of a sensual, often violent society with extremes of poverty and wealth; a background of Portuguese and centuries of slavery, workers’ strikes and organised crime – all flavoured with lime and coconut juice.

The Old Man Who Read Love Stories

The Old Man Who Read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda [B1836]

Antonio Bolívar lives as a recluse deep in the Amazon jungle in Ecuador. When an ocelot begins attacking humans in the small settlement, he is obliged against his will to join a hunting party and confront the creature and his own past. A tale of life, death, atonement and the pleasures of reading.

Bel Canto

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett [B1991]

A group of international guests in an unnamed Latin American country are taken hostage, but the target, the President, is not present. Among the hostages are a famous American opera singer, and a Japanese businessman. A charming, unconventional story unfolds as Patchett explores the themes of art, politics and love.

A Long Petal of the Sea

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende [B2323]

Young ‘miracle’ doctor Victor Dalmau, caught up in the Spanish Civil War, is forced into exile with his sister-in-law, the pianist Roser Broguera. Boarding a ship for Chile, they hope for the promised freedom of ‘the long petal of sea and wine and snow’ which will affect generations to come. A lyrical story of love and struggle, including appearances by the poet Pablo Neruda.

For your wider reading enjoyment, here is our list of recommendations for other great books that have come out of the diverse range of Latin American literature:

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  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolaño
  • Captains of the Sands by Jorge Amado
  • The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes
  • Dirty Havana Trilogy by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez
  • Doña Bárbara by Rómulo Gallegos
  • The Essential Neruda by Pablo Neruda
  • The Feat of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar
  • In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
  • The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guervara
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Piñeiro


But why stop at these? There are many other wonderful writers representing countries of Latin America.

Here is a sample selection: