A Companion to Latin American Literature offers a lively and informative introduction to the most significant literary works produced in Latin America from the fifteenth century until the present day. It shows how the press, and its product the printed word, functioned as the common denominator binding together, in different ways over time, the complex and variable relationship between the writer, the reader and the state. The meandering story of the evolution of Latin American literature - from the letters of discovery written by Christopher Columbus and Vaz de Caminha, via the Republican era at the end of the nineteenth century when writers in Rio de Janeiro as much as in Buenos Aires were beginning to live off their pens as journalists and serial novelists, until the 1960s when writers of the quality of Clarice Lispector in Brazil and Garcia Marquez in Colombia suddenly burst onto the world stage - is traced chronologically in six chapters which introduce the main writers in the main genres of poetry, prose, the novel, drama, and the essay. A final chapter evaluates the post-boom novel, testimonio, Latino and Brazuca literature, gay, Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Brazilian literature, along with the Novel of the New Millennium. This study also offers suggestions for further reading.
STEPHEN M. HART is Professor of Hispanic Studies, University College London, and Profesor Honorario, Universidad de San Marcos, Lima