Quirky Latin American Novels

  • The War of Don Emanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernieres
  • Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman by Louis de Bernieres
  • War of the Saints by Jorge Amado
  • Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • Four Hands by Paco Ignacio Taibo II
  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Author Comments: 

Louis de Bernieres is actually British but the trilogy takes place in a fictional South American country and boy is it quirky. De Bernieres also wrote the wonderful Corelli's Mandolin.

One thing most of these books have in common is what critics call "magical realism." Strange things happen - ghosts and gods and saints appear, characters live longer than humanly possible - but these things are simply part of the characters' existence.

These books also show a great deal of the brutality of life without losing a sense of humor or a sense of hope.

have you read anything by Julia Ortiz Cofer? she gave a reading at my college for Latin Deli, a collection of short stories, poems, and essays about Latina women. (also, she denies being a part of the "magical realism" movement, but some of my classmates found elements of it in her work.)