Latin American writers began to grab the international spotlight in the 1960s, when the region produced a range of powerful new voices that came to redefine its literature. A literary boom was underway amid a background of political turmoil throughout the region. The first three Nobel laureates on this list were bona fide boom writers, but the last three demonstrate that great Latin American literature began long before the 1960s.
Mario Vargas Llosa – 2010 Winner
The Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa first came to prominence with his 1963 novel The Time of the Hero. Set in the Lima military academy where Vargas Llosa had spent his teenage years, the novel uses modernist techniques: employing multiple perspectives and experimental sequential arrangements.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Noted for his prolific output, Vargas Llosa’s most celebrated work is his sprawling 1981 masterpiece, The War of the End of the World. The novel tells the story of the remote village of Canudos in late 19th-century Brazil, which was formed in northeastern Brazil by the Brazilian preacher Antônio Conselheiro. The religious mystic rallied thousands of impoverished farmers and former slaves to form a new society, which took up arms when it was threatened by the Brazilian government.
Octavio Paz – 1990 Winner
Octavio Paz was a prolific Mexican poet and essayist. His surrealist poem Piedra de Sol (Sunstone) is a 584-line, circular masterpiece that is based on the Aztec calendar and touches on themes such as eroticism, death and the Spanish Civil War.
However, Paz’s most famous work is The Labyrinth of Solitude, a series of essays on Mexican culture. The book deals with his countryman’s solitude, fiesta culture and Mexico’s unique obsession with death.
Gabriel García Márquez – 1982 Winner
Widely regarded as the greatest literary mind Colombia has ever produced, Gabriel García Márquez’s most celebrated work is his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. Published in 1967, the novel tells the story of the eccentric Buendía family, who live in the mythical village of Macondo. The tragic yet hilarious masterpiece popularized the magical realism genre, which mixes historical facts and events with fantastical elements.
Pablo Neruda – 1971 Winner
The Chilean Pablo Neruda was without doubt Latin America’s most celebrated poet. Published in 1924, his Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is one of his most popular collections. Neruda’s 1950 epic Canto General is widely regarded as his masterpiece. A close friend of Chilean socialist President Salvador Allende, many suspect that Neruda was murdered on the order of Augusto Pinochet, the dictator who stole power from Allende in a US-backed coup d’état in 1973.
Miguel Ángel Asturias – 1967 Winner
The Guatemalan poet and novelist Miguel Ángel Asturias published his most famous works before the Latin American literary boom, but is widely regarded as having paved the way for it by drawing attention to the region’s literature. His most well-known novel is El Señor Presidente (Mr. President) which centers on the life of a ruthless dictator. A biting commentary on political rule in his native Guatemala, the novel also uses magical realist techniques such as those later employed by García Márquez.
Gabriela Mistral – 1945 Winner
The first Latin American to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature, Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral tackled themes such as love, betrayal and sorrow. She also made a clear distinction between Latin American and European identity, addressing indigenous American influences on her culture.
While working as a teacher in 1906, Mistral formed a close friendship with a railway worker. His suicide three years later was a defining episode of her life. She never married and love and loss became defining features of her writing. Mistral’s portrait is currently featured on Chile’s 5,000 peso bank note.
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