Mario Vargas Llosa leads a treasure-trove of Latin American fiction

From the art world of Buenos Aires to political intrigue in Guatemala to an underwater treasure hunt off the Galápagos Islands, literature from Latin America offers a window onto diverse cultures. Three novels and a collection of short stories, all recently translated from Spanish into English, lead readers through rich and varied history and terrain. The authors hail from four different countries – Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru – and, while they share a common language, their styles, subject matter, and world view are very much their own.

Only about 1% to 3% of books published in the United States are works in translation, according to Three Percent, a literature project at the University of Rochester in New York. While writers like Elena Ferrante, Haruki Murakami, Isabel Allende, and Fredrik Backman, whose work originates in languages ​​other than English, have found sizable readerships in the US, many outstanding writers from around the world have been overlooked. Fortunately, a number of publishers, some of them small, nonprofit operations, specialize in bringing out works of literary fiction in translation, affording English speakers an opportunity to embrace the larger world in their reading experience.

Argentine art mystery

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