Even if you’ve never read their books, chances are you’ve heard their names!
Some of the most famous writers in the world are responsible for a growing catalogue of creative genius that captivates readers of all ages, genders, creeds and professions. And, over the years, Latin America has contributed with some wonderful writers.
The Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded in Stockholm since 1901 and was only suspended during the two World Wars. Here we profile six Latino recipients of the award. If you’re yet to read any of their work, check out our recommendations to get your started (among so many other brilliant titles).
Pablo Neruda (Chile): Recipient in 1971. The poet Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (his given name) lived from 1904-1973. He also had a political career and served as the Consul General to Chile in Spain and Mexico. His poems and sonnets have enchanted generations. (Recommended: Confieso que he vivido)
Gabriel García Márquez (Columbia): Affectionately known as Gabo by his many admirers, Márquez (1927–2014) was a writer, journalist, editor, activist and politician. As one of the most important authors of the 20th century, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1982. He is also one of the most translated authors to date, with more than 40 million copies sold in 36 languages. (Recommended: Cien Años de Soledad)
Gabriela Mistral (Chile): Gabriela (1889-1957) was the first American women to receive the Prize, in 1945, for her poetry. As well as being a successful poet, she was a diplomat, teacher and feminist. (Recommended: Desolación)
Miguel Ángel Asturias (Guatemala): The Guatemalan (1899-1974) was honoured in 1967. He was a diplomat, journalist, and romanticist. He based much of his work on the indigenous peoples of Latin America. (Recommended: Hombres de Maíz)
Octavio Paz (Mexico): One of the greatest poets of all time, Paz was a writer, essayist, and diplomat. Octavio Paz (1914-1998) won the Nobel Prize in 1990. He published more that 20 books of poetry and innumerable essays on literature, culture and politics. (Recommended: El Laberinto de la Soledad)
Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru): Born in Arequipa on 28 March 1936, Llosa is another Latino that was awarded the Nobel Prize, in 2010. This journalist, essayist, politician and university professor is one of the leading romanticists of his time. His work bridges genres and includes comedies, dramas, romance and political thrillers. (Recommended: La Ciudad y los Perros)