Literary Journey in Latin America

There is, in our imagination and our heart, an image of Latin America, particularly related to the Spanish language: oral histories and storytelling, tropical heat, music and folklore, Caribbean sun, the green of the tangled forest, immense rivers and steep slopes of the Andes, herds of Pampa, remote Patagonia.
This is Latin America that we seek traveling, and even reading novels. The excess of exoticism and local color, however, sounds false. As well as a too organized journey can’t please the good traveler, even a literary journey is the result of choices. So this book, far from being an history of literature, is the tale of a trip.
The author teaches us to beware of the too easy novels by Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez. He invites us to reread Borges. He tells the strange story of the ‘tango’. He discovers for us literary gems hidden and poorly known like Felisberto Hernández. He shows the differences between the Alejo Carpentier’s baroque and José Lezama Lima’s baroque. He narrates the poetry in Cuba, in the time of Fidel Castro, and despite Fidel Castro. He tells us how in Cali, Colombia, in the Seventies of last century, a generation of young people sought a new identity contaminating the rock with ‘salsa’ and ‘cumbia’ and ‘vallenato’. And he tells us how the latin-afro-american writers views the world with a different look.
Guided by his own taste and curiosity, from novel to novel, from place to place, weaving a web of references and cross, Francesco Varanini shows us a path. And invites us to discover our own reading path.
So in fact, the Chilean novelist, journalist and filmmaker Alberto Fuguet writes about this book: “Varanini writes the novel of his life: that of an who traveled to Latin America and, above all, who read a lot. Reading this literary journey makes you want to travel, read and reread certain books that you took for disintegrated. A triumph, no doubt.”
And the great Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante added, with his typical style based on puns: Varanini bets on odd novels”, away from the usual supply, “not a book every year with forms like formulas”.