books about argentina 2 Argentina’s Top 10 Fiction Books You Should Read Before You Die

In this Top 10, we will explore the old and new classics of Argentine fiction. Here the Best Books About Argentina, written by Argentinian Authors.

Argentina is a South American country that was marked by a process of Spanish conquest and colonization (1516-1816), and despite the fact that is a relatively young nation, its artistic production is vast and extremely rich in terms of literary creativity.

The legacy of the native peoples and the great waves of immigration from Europe, Africa, Asia, and neighboring countries provided an ideal breeding ground for a highly diverse literary development.

Throughout its history, Argentine literature has built a great reputation, from its beginnings with gaucho literature to the present day with the New Argentine Narrative, but fiction is perhaps its most recognized genre worldwide.

In this Top 10, which does not pretend to establish a hierarchical order, we will explore the old and new classics of Argentine fiction.

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Fictions

by Jorge Luis Borges, 1944


Fictions is the work that best synthesizes the concerns and recurring themes in Jorge Luis Borges’ literature.

His stories reinvented the way of writing and reading, and they always provide not only an aesthetic joy, but they represent an exercise of intelligence that expands the universe of the reader.

In this book, you will find stories about labyrinths, dreams, infinity, chance, destiny, memory, and oblivion.



Hopscotch

by Julio Cortázar, 1963


This book is an overflowing and avant-garde narrative exercise, qualified as the masterpiece of Julio Cortázar.

The novel was intended as a game since the author considered that the literary imagination was very similar to the mentality of a playful child.

In this sense, the structure of the book is open to multiple readings with different points of view, as if it were a game.




The Tunnel

By Ernesto Sábato, 1948


This brief and intense novel is a jewel of Latin American literature. The author takes us through a dark and gloomy tunnel: the space of a disturbed and broken mind.

The protagonist is Juan Pablo Castel, a murderer who tells in the first person why he decided to kill the person he loved.




Scars

By Juan José Saer, 1969


Scars is a complex and imaginative novel that tells of a crime committed by a metalworker who kills his wife with a shotgun.

What is particular about Saer’s work is that the murder is examined through four sections from the point of view of a journalist, a lawyer, a judge, and a marriage.

Although the subject of murder is essential, the four sections do not focus exclusively on it and they also delve into the deepest obsessions of the characters.




The Seven Madmen

By Roberto Arlt, 1929


Roberto Arlt’s novel is one of the most remarkable works of 20th-century Argentine literature.

This impressive story is built around existential pessimism, loss of meaning, but also political and philosophical reflection.

The protagonist is Augusto Erdosain, a man beset by loneliness and lack of money who joins a secret revolutionary group that seeks to alter the social order imposed by the government.




The Invention of Morel

By Adolfo Bioy Casares, 1940


The Invention of Morel is a sublime novel of fantastic literature and the first and most famous work of Adolfo Bioy Casares.

In this story of love, loneliness, and death, a fugitive escapes to an island and discovers a machine capable of capturing real beings in images and perpetuating them in a spectral eternity.

The idea of what is reality or fantasy haunts the fugitive throughout the entire novel.




The Secret in Their Eyes

By Eduardo Sacheri (2005)


The book that inspired the Oscar-winning film: The Secret in Their Eyes.

This story is set in the sixties and seventies, in an Argentina that is submerged in political violence and whose characters fight against impunity, the bureaucracy of the judicial system, and their own miseries.

The main character is Benjamín Chaparro, a retired prosecutor who cannot forget a murder case and look back on his life along with the circumstances of that case and its unsuspected derivations: the story of a secret love that keeps him cornered between passion and silence.




The Scent of Buenos Aires

by Hebe Uhart, 2019


Hebe Uhart is one of the most recognized storytellers in Argentine literature.

She left behind an extensive and varied work with a singular style; her works, entertaining and disturbing at the same time, include short novels and journalistic chronicles, but it was her stories that led her to become a cult writer.




Things We Lost in the Fire

by Mariana Enríquez, 2016


Things We Lost in the Fire is an anthology that consists of twelve stories with female protagonists and with a wide variety of themes linked by a common thread: horror.

Fear appears as social inequality or violence, and manifests itself both supernaturally and in everyday things, hidden in plain sight in the neighborhoods and streets of Argentina.




The Aleph

by Jorge Luis Borges, 1949


We started this Top 10 with Jorge Luis Borges and it seemed fair to finish it with him as well. This book is a fundamental piece of 20th century Spanish literature.

It has 17 unforgettable stories that makeup one of the author’s most emblematic productions; they refer to myths, metaphors, and traditions of world literature.

In this collection of the greatest Argentine writer, all the complexity and sophistication of Borges’ universe is manifested with high intensity.




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