Looking Back on 50 Years of Latin American Literary Rock Stars

Even though some of the romantic undertones of this novel set in Paris may have not aged well, the radical inventiveness of Rayuela's structure is still mind-blowing — a novel designed to be read from beginning to end or in an alternate order. (Also, if you didn't have a college classmate that identified herself with La Maga, or no one tried to seduce you with its irresistible depiction of a kiss in chapter 7, you probably didn't grow up in Latin America.)

3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García-Márquez (1967)

One of the definitive works of Latin American literature; the unmatched book that inspired a million imitations and created a myth —that of MacOndo and the Buendías— so powerful that it's still affecting the way Latin Americans see ourselves.

4. Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario VargasLlosa (1969)

Vargas Llosa's equally unsurpassed answer to García Márquez's masterpiece. A conversation in a bar during the Peruvian dictatorship of Manuel Odría that ends exploring the darkness in all of our souls. A book in which Vargas Llosa shows his masterfulness by writing its four sections in different styles.

5. The Obscene Bird Night by José Donoso (1970)

An exploration of our identities and fears so dark and multi-layered, that it will haunt your dreams years after you have forgotten what its plot was about.

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