BOOKS

1. Travesuras de La niña mala (THE BAD GIRL)

Author: Mario Vargas Llosa

Country: Peru

Published: 2006

 

Ricardo, at an early age, sees his life-long dream fulfilled: to live in Paris. But an encounter with a past love will change everything. The young girl, adventurer, pragmatic, wicked, calculating, and mischievous, will drag him out of his small world of ambitions. This is the story of the intimate love that occupies more than three decades of Ricardo’s life, and it is also a fascinating tale traveling through Europe, South America, and Japan.

Starring in the backdrop are Peru’s history from 1950 to 1987 and its swinging from democracy to dictatorship; Paris in the sixties and its great philosophers Sartre and Camus; the decade of the 70s in London, the birth of a new culture, drugs, music, hippies, freedom of love; Japan’s big dealer lords, and, finally, Spain halfway through the 80s.

Creating an admirable tension between comedy and tragedy, Mario Vargas Llosa plays with reality and fiction to release a story in which love presents itself as indefinable, owner of a thousand faces, just like the mischievous girl. Passion and distance, chance and destiny, pain and pleasure... Which is the true face of love?

2. El alchimista (THE ALCHEMIST)

Author: Paulo Coelho

Country: Brazil

Published: 1988

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids.

Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.

Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

3. Los arboles mueren de pie (trees die standing tall)

Author: Alejandro Casona

Country: Argentina

Published: 1950

 

Alejandro Casona plays with fantasy and reality in his plays. Here we are in play within the play, not in the Pirandellian way but as orchestrating elements of the vaudeville. This work offers a world of fantasy and characters who exemplify a moral idea.

They intended to show the viewer the good, beautiful life in its most genuine, kind and wonderful expression. Its function is to guide him through the path of crystalline and clean sources of a better life.

4. 100 años de soledad (one hundred years of solitude)

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Country: Colombia

Published: 1967

 

Probably García Márquez’s finest and most famous work, One Hun-dred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, alive with unforgettable men and women, and with a truth and understanding that strike the soul, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a masterpiece of the art of fiction.

Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1928 in the town of Araca-taca, Colombia. Latin America’s preeminent man of letters, he is considered by many to be one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. He began his writing career as a journalist and is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Love in the Time of Cholera, The Autumn of the Patriarch, and Collected Stories. His most recent work is a memoir, Living to Tell the Tale. García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.