Latin American or South American Novels

These novels are set in Latin or South America or have characters who are from these places.

The Power and the Glory | Graham Greene

In postrevolutionary Mexico, religious freedom is curtailed and priests have been condemned to die. One such man, known as the whiskey priest, is trying to meet up with a man named Lopez who might be able to help him escape. When he finds out Lopez has been shot, he goes with a boy to see his sick mother. Meanwhile, a police squad is searching the area for any remaining priests. The whiskey priest is trying to get out of the country, but his Catholic duty keeps diverting him to people who need his services.

Bel Canto | Ann Patchett

In a poor Latin American country, a party is being held for Katsumi Hosokawa, chairman at a technology company. The government wants him to open a factory in their country. He attends mainly to hear Roxane Coss, his favorite opera singer. The lights go out at the end of her performance, and armed men surround the guests. They have come for the president, Masuda, but he isn’t there. They wanted to be in and out quickly, but looking for Masuda delayed them. The authorities surround the building – it’s now a hostage situation.

Bless Me, Ultima | Rudolfo Anaya

Tony’s narrates his life from age six to twenty-two. He lives in a New Mexico village in the 1940s. He witnesses a killing, deals with being an outcast at school, and encounters different religious beliefs.

The Tree of the Red Stars | Tessa Bridal

Magda returns to Uruguay after an exile. We’re taken back to her childhood; she grows up in a male-dominated society, and with building political unrest. The revolution gets closer to her when she finds out some neighbours are involved, and Che Guevara comes to speak at a local event.

The Old Gringo | Carlos Fuentes

An old man rides into Mexico looking for Pancho Villa and his revolutionaries. After proving his skills as a marksman, he is accepted into the group under General Tomas Arroyo. They set out for their base; they find it razed with many dead.

Wide Sargasso Sea | Jean Rhys

Antoinette lives on her family’s plantation in isolation on a Caribbean island. The slaves have recently been emancipated, and there is tension among the population. She tries to make connections with people, but has difficulty. Her mother marries Mr. Mason, a man with money who engenders hostility from the black population. The clash builds to a breaking point. The story continues from the perspective of Antoinette’s husband.

This novel is a prequel to Jane Eyre. Antoinette is Rochester’s first wife, better known as Bertha.