Here are the books for my Latin-American Read-a-long which I will be doing in 2012. As usual with all things Latin American, I’m not expecting anyone to join in, but if you do, these are all (with a few exceptions) Latin American classics which remain largely unread in the English-speaking world – so next time someone says to you that Latin American literature is all magic realism á la Gabriel García Márquez and has only discovered realism recently with the advent of Roberto Bolaño, you can point out to them how wrong every part of that statement is. – Really, of course, it’s just an excuse for me to get on and read all these books I bought years ago and have left on my shelves. (I’ve carefully connected it with my TBR project).
Having twelve months, I decided not only to have twelve different authors, but twelve different countries too – which means I won’t be able to read that great unread Latin-American novel, Three Trapped Tigers (Three Tearful Tigers? Three Tristful Tigers? Three Tigers In Tears? Several Sad Snowcats? – to be fair, the English title Infante’s Inferno is far better than the Spanish original), because I’d rather read Paradiso, or anything by Alejo Carpentier. (Easy to choose a Paraguayan novel, very hard to pick a Mexican one!)
- January – Paradiso, José Lezama Lima (Cuba, 1966)
- February – Yawar Fiesta, José María Arguedas (Peru, 1941)
- March – Curfew, José Donoso (Chile, 1986)
- April – Doña Barbara, Rómulo Gallegos (Venezuela, 1929)
- May – To Bury Our Fathers, Sergio Ramírez (Nicaragua, 1977)
- June – The Patriot, Lima Barreto (Brazil, 1915)
- July – A Brief Life, Juan Carlos Onetti (Uruguay, 1950)
- August – The Edge of the Storm, Agustín Yáñez (Mexico, 1947)
- September – The Vortex, José Eustasio Rivera (Argentina, 1924)
- October – I, The Supreme, Augusto Roa Bastos (Paraguay, 1974)
- November – The President, Miguel Ángel Asturias (Guatemala, 1933)
- December – One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia, 1967)
The only one of these I don’t have already is I, The Supreme – but it’s always lying about in secondhand shops. (I used to have a copy of it).