This month, we put authors from all over Latin America in the spotlight. Experience the diversity of a whole continent with 10 gems from our catalog.
Let’s start with Padre Antonio Vieira who, born in Portugal, moved to Brazil as a child and there became a renowed Jesuit preacher. He felt that the ideal sermon should make the listeners feel discontented with themselves. Find out for yourself from a collection of his Sermões.
Since he was seen as the fulfillment of a catholic prophecy, Garcia Moreno, President of Ecuador 1821 – 1875 was equally revered. Under him the country made a substantial leap forward – until he was assassinated. This biography was written by Augustine Berthe, about whom nothing further seems to be known.
Much more famous than her is Olavo Bilac, since he wrote the lyrics for the Brazilian Flag Anthem. Contos para Velhos are short stories and poems about adult themes, published under a pseudonym.
From adults to stories for boys and girls with La Edad de Oro by José Martí. He was a symbol of Cuba’s independence movement from Spain and to this day is called its apostle. Although he died at only 42, he is an important figure of Latin American literature.
José de Alencar, a lawyer, politician, and writer is probably the most famous representative of Brazilian Romanticism as well as Indianism. In Senhora, Aurélia takes bitter revenge on her fiancé Fernando who left her to marry money instead.
There’s not much money in poetry, so José Hernández earned his keep as journalist and politician in Argentina. Today however, he is best known for the long narrative poem El Gaucho Martín Fierro, considered the pinnacle of gauchesque literature.
The Brazilian Lima Barreto started to write for newspapers in 1902. Already in 1911, at the age of 30, he wrote his pre-modernism masterpiece Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma. In it, we follow the life of an army bureaucrat whose patriotism finally leads to his own destruction.
Horacio Quiroga from Uruguay also started writing early, when only 22, although he had many other interests as well like photography, chemistry, philosophy,… In South American Jungle Tales he uses the supernatural and bizarre to showcase every beings struggle for survival.
The greatest writer of Brazilian literature is Machado de Assis. However, the multiligual novelist, playwright, and poet is virtually unknown outside his own country. Esaú e Jacó tells the story of two brothers finding themselves on different political sides in post-independence Brazil.
There are many more Latin American writers that remain to be discovered (and recorded for LibriVox). Some of their finest work has been collected in Pan-American Poems: An Anthology. They were translated into English by Agnes Blake Poor.
Enjoy discovering Latin American authors in our catalog!