Latin American Literature facts for kids
Latin American literature refers to the poetry, novels, essays, and drama written by people born in Latin America. The authors usually write in Spanish or Portuguese. However, some also write in indigenous languages.
Latin American Boom
The most famous kind of Latin American Literature is called the "Latin American Boom". Popular themes in boom novels and poetry are: solitude, nostalgia, poverty, ancestors, folklore, memory, and war.The writing blends fantasy, magic, and journalistic stories. This mixture of reality and fantasy is called magic realism. In the 1960s and 1970s, many Latin American authors published short stories, essays, novels, and poems. Their works were translated into different languages. Six authors from this region won the Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the most famous writers in Jorge Luis Borges. He wrote philosophical fiction. Julio Cortázar wrote a tender novel called Hopscotch (1963). Gabriel García Márquez's 100 Years of Solitude is a classic novel (1966). Other major novelists are Lezama Lima, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Carlos Fuentes. Miguel Ángel Asturias (from Guatemala) was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1967.
Latin American Poetry
Latin American poetry is famous around the world. They write lyric poems on love, romance, magic, spirits, and solitude. They also write political poems about revolution, independence, and humanity.
Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Both are poets from Chile.
Famous lyric poets include Rubén Darío, Cesar Vallejo Vallejo (Peru), Pablo Neruda (Chile), and Ernesto Cardenal (Nicaragua).
The prose poem is popular in Latin America. Jorge Luis Borges ("Everything and Nothing"), Pablo Neruda (Passions and Impressions), Octavio Paz (Aguila o Sol?/Eagle or Sun?), and Giannina Braschi (Empire of Dreams) wrote prose poems.
Latin American Women Writers
Solitude is a popular theme in Latin American novels and poetry. Love and liberty are also popular themes. The first famous Latin American woman writer was Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. She was a nun who lived in the 17th century. She wrote spiritual poems and religious essays. Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She wrote about children, teachers, family, and romance. Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik wore prose poems about solitude, madness, and death. Delmira Agustini’s wrote about Greek ideas like Eros (the Greek God of love). Julia de Burgos wrote about Puerto Rico, nature, and independence. Giannina Braschi writes epic poetry about solitude, immigration, revolution, and freedom. Many women in Latin America gave spoken testimonials about their lives, such as Rigoberta Menchú. Isabel Allende (House of the Spirits) and Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate) wrote fantasy novels that became popular movies.
Images for kids
Alfonso Reyes writer of influential pieces of Mexican surrealism.
Gabriel García Márquez, the most famous of the Boom writers
Roberto Bolaño is considered to have had the greatest United States impact of any post-Boom author
Octavio Paz helped to define modern poetry and the Mexican personality.
Peruvian poet César Vallejo, considered by Thomas Merton "the greatest universal poet since Dante"
|Mary the Jewess|