Libros en español
I am a fan of contemporary Spanish literature and I always have a craving to read a good novel by a renowned author. I was just browsing through a section called encuentros digitales in elmundo.es and they provide updates about upcoming new releases. One of my favorite contemporary authors Jaime Bayly has a new release scheduled for November 8, 2005 called Y de repente, un ángel. Jaime Bayly is Peruvian, an author whose novels are considered controversial (because of the themes) but very well written in terms of how he uses the Spanish language IMO. I definitely will be reading this book very soon but in the meantime I was wondering if any of you have read some good Spanish novels of late or any type of Spanish literature. If so tell us about the author, the book and what you liked or disliked about the book or the author's style.
Here are some of my favorite authors:
Pedro Juan Gutiérrez
Some of Paulo Coelho's literature (translated literature)
Carlos Alberto Montaner
Last edited by Marianopolita; 11-08-2005 at 08:32 AM.
I can only say that I saw No se lo digas a nadie, a Peruvian movie based on the novel written by Jaime Bayly. Of course, I also saw Before Night Falls, based on the book written by Arenas. However, I have never actually read their books, I guess I am lazy. I spend too much time reading newspapers online, among them El Mundo, El Pais and El Herald. I do know Bayly usually writes in the Opinion section of El Miami Herald. I have read Carlos Alberto Monaner's first books, one of his earlier was Reporte Secreto de la Revolucion Cubana or something like that. Another Cuban writer I liked was Cabrera Infante. Very witty and funny. He passed away last year, or the year before last, I think. I know the others you mention, but I have not read their books...yet.
-I have read most of Jaime Bayly’ s novels and No se lo digas a nadie is one of them. That was his first novel and I guess one can say it set the stage for what’s to follow. It’s considered controversial, daring but a reflection of certain aspects of Peruvian society. I really enjoyed his last two novels- La mujer de mi hermano (2003) and El huracán lleva tu nombre (2004). I give both novels a four star rating. They received good reviews by the critics but mixed reviews by readers. What I mean is a range of opinions and reactions about his repetitive themes. Nevertheless, I am also intrigued by his writing style and the inner dialogue by at least one of the protagonists in his novels. La mujer de mi hermano is now a movie that was released last week in Mexico. I will attach the link from el Nuevo Herald.
-I read el Nuevo Herald daily and I have never seen a column by Jaime Bayly. If you could let me know what section of the newspaper I could find his commentary I would appreciate it.
- Cuban authors in general are just awesome! As you can see in my list of favorites there are four. Cuba has made and continues to make a great contribution to the Latin American literary sphere. Many of the authors are also essay and short story writers. Daína Chaviano, Habanera, is just brilliant and her novels express true Cuban sentiment. She is often compared to Zoe Valdés, another Cuban contemporary female author whose novels don’t appeal to me as much. In conversation with other avid readers I can say you either like one or the other. Daína has my vote.
- G. Cabrera Infante was one of Cuba’s most renowned authors of the older generation of literary scholars. I have yet to read a novel of his however, I have read some excerpts. He has an excellent writing style, which I imagine would make for great reading. He is one of Cuba’s giants along with Alejo Carpentier and Reinaldo Arenas.
-I enjoy reading newspapers too and coincidentally the same ones that you read- El Mundo and El Nuevo Herald for sure. El País used to be free online but to read it now I believe a subscription is required.
Here is the link of the movie release:
www.Jaime Bayly- 10/28/05
Originally Posted by juancarlos
Last edited by Marianopolita; 11-08-2005 at 10:48 AM.
The only literature I ever read of Spanish authors are authors probably much better know by all of you than by myself ..
Some read in Spanish others in French or Dutch ..Here are my favorite ones (from many years ago)
J.L. Borges : Short stories (unique for the intelligence with which they are written and very surprising last sentence explanations ) Can't remember any title : I'm thinking of "Zephyr" but am almost sure it's not correct ..
Elizabeth Allende : Eva and others I don't remember either .. -she is good in creating a certain ambiente ...and last but not least :
G.G. Marquez : "Love in a time of Cholera" ... "One 100 years of solitude " and the for me very special "Crónica de una muerte anunciada "
Have read some (very few ) Spanish authors since I live in Spain but the few I read aren't worth mentioning ..The last book which was awarded the premio "Planeta" in Spain ( a few weeks ago ) was very criticized for it's low quality ,, The premio was awarded to Maria de la Pau Janer for her book "Pasiones Romanas"
Originally Posted by Lesley D
A lot of people have recommended La sombra del viento, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, set in Barcelona. Has anyone here read it?
Also, Mr Chiri recently read and enjoyed La Reina del Sur by Arturo Perez Reverte.
I strongly recommend Francisco Goldman, a Latin American writer who writes in English. I've recently read his latest, The Divine Husband, which is written around a fictitious episode in Jose Marti's life, based on his poem 'La nina de Guatemala'.
Hugoke01 & Chirimoya
Thanks for sharing your list which is quite interesting. Your selection of authors are all renowned in their respective countries as well as in Latin America. Just to give you my perspective on your choices these are my thoughts:
Jorge Borges- is very deep and his books can't be read at leisure. His works always have profound messages and most of his them were written during a very key period in Latin American literary history. Not one of my favorites at all. I read some of his works only because his novels were part of my university syllabus.
Isabel Allende- is a unique author with exclusive vocabulary and has plenty of work in her repertoire. I have quite a few of her novels waiting to be read. However, I have read Cuentos de Eva Luna. Just superb! She is a talented author.
Gabriel García Márquez- is one of the giants of contemporary Latin American literature. He has a tremendous repertoire of good novels, short stories, essays etc. Personally he is not one of my favorites but what I have read of his works I enjoyed. I did read Crónica de una muerte anunciada, El coronel no tiene quien le escriba, Noticia de un secuestro and Los Funerales de la mamá grande. My favorite by far is Noticia de un secuestro which is a true account of the guerrilla situation that has plagued Colombia for over forty years. A sad story but there is nothing pleasant about guerilla warfare.
The new book that you mentioned that got a bad review by the critics in Spain was one of the reviews I read in elmundo.es. That makes me kind of skeptical now about Jaime Bayly's new book but I don't focus too much on the commentary by the critics. I critique books myself. However, that author I believe is new and Jaime Bayly has other novels that validate his writing ability. So I guess I will find out how good the book is or not when I read it.
La Sombra del viento has very good reviews. As well, it's on my shelf waiting to be read. Sorry I can't provide feedback yet.
Last edited by Marianopolita; 11-09-2005 at 12:07 AM.
Reason: spell check & wording
Lesley, thanks for the info re the new movie. I had not heard about it yet. If they show it in Los Angeles I may go see it. El Pais is now gratis once more. Recently, I decided to check the site and saw you can access it without being a subscriber. Jaime Bayly's articles usually appeared sundays in the Opinion section of El Nuevo Herald. They were mostly tongue in cheek or humorous accounts of life in Miami as well as personal opinions on minor issues. I did not read them all the time, but did notice them. I don't know if they continue to appear there.
Originally Posted by Chirimoya
I've read both La Sombra del Viento and La Reina del Sur. I do recommend both, La Reina is more "hip" but La Sombra is superior IMO as a mystery thriller and as an artistic creation.
Premio de Novela Alfaguara winners (and vey good books):
Diablo Guadián by Xavier Velasco (Mexico) 2003 thematically similar to La reina del Sur but much more creative and the use of the language (including Spanglish ) is amazing.
Delirio by Laura Restrepo (Colombia) 2004
Other good reading:
Trífero by Ray Loriga (Spain)
Less recent, but good stuff.
Juegos de la Edad Tardía by Luis Landero (Spain)
La Hija del Caníbal by Rosa Montero (Spain)
La prueba del laberinto by Fernando Sánchez-Dragó (Spain)
Books by one of my very favorites, Luis Sepúlveda (Chile):
-Mundo del fin del mundo, 1989 (The World at the End of the World)
-Un viejo que leía novelas de amor, 1989 (The Old Man Who Read Love Stories)
-Nombre de torero, 1994 (The Name of a Bullfighter)
-Diario de un killer sentimental seguido de Yacaré.
La casa de la laguna by Rosario Ferré (Puerto Rico)
Cuatro Manos/Four Hands by Paco Ignacio Taibo II (Mexico/Spain)
I have also read one long but brilliant book in original English by a Latin, Dr. Neruda's Cure for Evil by Rafael Yglesias (I think he is Cuban).
I did not like (among others):
La noche es virgen by Jaime Bayly (Peru); sorry Lesley, I see that you like his writing. I'll try it again.
Mala Onda by Alberto Fuget (Chile).
Last edited by Tordok; 11-08-2005 at 08:09 PM.
Juancarlos & Tordok
Thanks for providing that info about El País. That is good news to have that paper free online once again. I suspect they received plenty of complaints from avid readers.
Thanks for your contributions. Just an fyi...Jaime Bayly's style appears to be either you like it or not. That has been my observation via literary critics and opinions in my circle of friends. La Noche es virgen I read as well and I found it difficult to read because there are no capitals. If you try Bayly again maybe Yo amo a mi Mami will appeal to you more. You may want to read some of the reviews. They were very good and who knows maybe this new release may prove to be a good read as he strays from his traditional themes.
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