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The Greatest Latin American Literature

The selection of the greatest literary works of South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico is based on the same extensive research and surveys carried out over the past two decades for our Greatest Literature of All Time list—with special attention paid to the views of Latin American readers, writers, critics and scholars.

All possible genres, cultures and periods in the literature of that area have been taken into account.

As with the Greatest Literature list, preference is given on this list to major forms of creative literature, such as novels, plays, story collections, epic poems and poetry collections.

Latest update: August 29, 2022

The 111 greatest works of literature from Latin America

1769
O Uraguai
José Basilio de Gama
Brazil
Poem
1841
Sab
Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
Cuba
Novel
1845
La Quena
Juana Manuela Gorrito
Argentina
Novella
1862
Martin Rivas
Alberto Blest Gana
Chile
Novel
1865
Iracema
José de Alencar
Brazil
Novel
1867
Maria
Jorge Isaacs
Colombia
Novell
1871
The Slaughter Yard
Esteban Echeverria
Argentina
Story
1872–1879
Martín Fierro
José Hernández
Argentina
Poem
1877
Cumandá
Juan Léon Mera
Ecuador
Novel
1881
The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cuba
Joaquin Maria Machado de Assis
Brazil
Novel
1882
The Alienist
Joaquin Maria Machado de Assis
Brazil
Novella
 
Ismaelillo
José Martí
Cuba
Poetry collection
1888
Azul...
Rubén Darío
Nicaragua
Prose and poetry collection
1888–1894
Blanca Sol
Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera
Nicaragua
Prose and poetry collection
1889
The Golden Age
José Martí
Cuba
Novel
 
Birds Without a Nest
Clorinda Matto de Turner
Peru
Novel
1895
Santa Evita
Tomás Eloy Martínez
Argentina
Novel
1899
Dom Casmurro
Joaquin Maria Machado de Assis
Brazil
Novel
1900
El Moto
Joaquín García Monge
Costa Rica
Novel
1905
Songs of Life and Hope
Rubén Darío
Nicaragua
Poetry collection
1916
Ther Underdogs
Mariano Azuela
Mexico
Novel
1922
Despair
Gabriela Mistral
Chile
Poetry collection
 
Trilce
César Vallejo
Peru
Poetry collection
1925
Residence on Earth and Other Poems
Pablo Nerudae
Chile
Poetry collection
1927
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
B. Traven
Mexico
Novel
1929
Seven Madmen
Roberto Arlt
Argentina
No vel
 
Doña Bárbara
Rómulo Gallegos
Venezuela
Novel
1931
The Carreta
B. Traven
Mexico
Novel
1838
Harvesting
Gabriela Mistral
Chile
Poetry collection
 
Human Poems
César Vallejo
Peru
Poetry collection
1940
The Invention of Morel
Adolfo Bioy Casares
Argentina
Novel
1941
Broad and Alien is the World
Ciro Allegra
El Salvador
Novel
1941–1956
Fictions
Jorge Luis Borges
Argentina
Story collection
1946
Mr. President
Miguel Angel Asturias
Guatemala
Novel
1948
The Tunnel
Ernesto Sabato
Argentina
Story collection
1949
The Kingdom of This World
Alejo Carpentier
Cuba
Novel
 
Men of Maize
Miguel Angel Asturias
Guatemala
Novel
 
The Aleph and Other Stories
Jorge LUis Borges
Argentina
Story collection
1953
The Lost Steps
Alejo Carpentier
Cuba
Novel
 
The Burning Plain and Other Stories
Juan Rulfo
Mexico
Story collection
1955
Pedro Páramo
Juan Rulfo
Mexico
Story collection
1956
The Devil to Pay in the Backlandso
João Guimarães FRosa
Brazil
Novel
1957
Sunstone
Octavio Paz
Mexico
Poem
1958
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
Jorge Amado
Brazil
Novel
 
Where the Air Is Clear
Carlos Fuentes
Peru
Novel
 
Deep Rivers
José María Aguedas
Mexico
Novel
 
A World for Julius
Alfredo Bryce Echenique
Peru
Novel
1961
On Heroes and Tombs
Ernesto Sabato
Argentina
Novel
 
No One Writess to the Colonel
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia
Novella
 
House for Mr Biswas
V.S. Naipaul
Trinidad
Novel
 
The Shipyard
Juan Carlos Onetti
Uruguay
Novel
1962
The Book of Lamentations
Rosario Castellanos
Mexico
Novel
 
The Death of Artemio Cruz
Carlos Fuentes
Mexico
Novel
 
The Green House
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1962–1983
Labyrinths
Jorge Luis Borges
Argentina
Story collection
1963
Hopscotch
Julio Cortázar
Argentina
Novel
 
Selected Poems
Octavio Paz
Mexico
Poetry collection
 
Time of the Hero
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1964
The Passion According to GH
Clarice Lispector
Brazil
Novel
1966
All the Fires the Fires
Julio Cortázar
Argentina
Story collection
1967
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia
Novel
 
Three Trapped Tigers
Guillermo Cabrera Infante
Cuba
Novel
 
Mimic Men
V.S. Naipaul
Trinidad
Novel
1968
Betrayed by Rita Hayworth
Manuel Puig
Argentina
Novel
 
Tent of Miracles
Jorge Amado
Brazil
Novel
1969
Heartbreak Tango
Manuel Puig
Argentina
Novel
1971
In a Free State
V.S. Naipaul
Trinidad
Novel
1973
The Chip Chip Gatherers
Shiva Naipaul
Argentina
Novel
1975
The Autumn of the Patriarch
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia
Novel
1976—1979
The Kiss of the Spiderwoman
Manuel Puig
Argentina
Novel
1977
Hour of the Star
Clazrice Lispector
Brazil
Novel
 
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1979
A Bend in the River
V.S. Naipaul
Trinidad
Novel
1980
America and Other Poems
Raúl Otero Reiche
Bolivia
Novel
1981
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia
Novella
 
The War of the End of the World
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1982
The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende
Chile
Novel
1982–1986
Memory of the Fire
Eduardo Galeano
Uruguay
Novel series
1984
Real Life of Alejandro Mayta
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1985
Gabriel García Márquez
Colmbia
Novel
 
The Old Gringo
Carlos Fuentes
Mexico
Novel
 
Tear This Heart Out
Ángeles Mastretta
Peru
Novel
1986
Who Killed Palomino Molero?
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1987
The Enigma of Arrival
V.S. Naipaul
Trinidad
Novel
1988
The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho
Brazil
Novel
 
Empire of Dreams
Giannina Braschi
Puerto Rico
Poetry collection
1989
Like Water for Chocolate
Laura Esquivel
Mexico
Novel
 
The Storyteller
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1990
The Witness
Juan José Saer
Argentina
Novel
 
Death and the Maiden
Ariel Dorfman
Chile
Novel
 
Omeros
Derek Walcott
Argentina
Poem
1993
Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll
Álvaro Mutis
Colombia
Novella collection
 
Before Night Falls
Reinaldo Arenas
Cuba
Memoir
 
Death in the Andes
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
1994
Of Love and Shadows
Isabel Allende
Chile
Novel
 
Our Lady of the Assassins
Fernando Vallejo
Colombia
Novel
 
Breath, Eyes, Memory
Edwidge Danticat
Haiti
Novel
1997
Money to Burn
Ricardo Piglia
Argentina
Novel
1998
Veronika Decides to Die
Paulo Coelho
Brazil
Novel
 
The Savage Detectives
Roberto Bolaño
Chile
Novel
 
Dirty Havana Trilogy
Pedroi Juan Gutiérrez
Cuba
Novel
1999
The Years With Laura Diaz
Carlos Fuentes
Mexico
Novel
 
In Search of Klingsor
Jorge Volpi
Mexico
Novel
2000
The Devil and Miss Prym
Paulo Coelho
Brazil
Novel
 
The Feast of the Goat
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
Novel
2002
City of the Beasts
Isabel Allende
Chile
Novel
2004
2666
Roberto Bolaño
Chile
Novel
 
Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia
Novella
2006
Inés of My Soul
Isabel Allende
Chile
Novel
2009
Signs Preceding the End of the World
Yuri Herrera
Mexico
Novel
2014
The Poetry of Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott3
St. Lucia
Poetry collection
2016
Tell Me How It Ends
Valeria Luisella
Mexico
Novel

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See also:

Article
Creating the Greatest Literature of All Time list

Article
Does it matter which translation you read?

List
Greatest Novels of All Time

List
Greatest Stories of All Time

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