I never forget my Spanish Literature teachers from middle school, Miss María Piedad and Miss Carolina. They were AH-MA-ZING teachers and mentors. I remember how they would inspire us to read, read and read Hispanic novels.
Although the task was not always an easy one, I am thankful they introduced us to many jewels of the Hispanic Literature. Whether you’re majoring in Spanish or taking advanced classes, these 12 novels are great options to help you explore our literature and celebrate the work of some of the greatest Hispanic authors of all time.
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12 Best Hispanic Novels Of All Time
Cien años de soledad by Gabriel García Marquez, Colombia
This book is considered one of the greatest books of literature. It was a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
Platero y Yo by Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spain
I think this was the first Hispanic novel that I read. This extraordinary book reflects on the joys of life with its sweet story. The author is a Nobel Prize winner.
Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes, Spain
Don Quixote is a classic in Hispanic literature. The story follows the adventures of a man who loses his sanity and decides to bring justice to the world.
Como agua para chocolate by Laura Esquivel, Mexico
Another classic! The story of this book follows Tita and her struggle to earn her independence from her traditional family.
La Casa de los Espíritus by Isabel Allende, Chile
I remember that this best-seller was a challenging novel to read! The novel follows the life of the Trueba family and incorporates magical realism.
El Entenado by Juan José Saer, Argentina
This book follows the intense adventures of a boy traveling with a Spanish exploration to a new world. It was a fun novel to read!
Cajas de Cartón: Relatos de la Vida Peregrina de un Nino Campesino, by Francisco Jiménez, Mexico
The novel is based on the author’s own experiences as a child of immigrants. Its sequels Senderos fronterizos and Más allá de mi are great reads for middle-graders.
La vida del Buscón by Francisco de Quevedo, Spain
This satirical novel was written around 1600 and follows the life of a swindler who wants to become virtuous and a gentleman.
Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges, Spain
I read this collection of short stories when I was in college. It’s a must read in the Hispanic literature.
El Hablador by Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru
El Hablador tells the story of a man who becomes a storyteller for an indigenous community which helps the reader with stereotypes and myths about these communities.
Rayuela, Julio Cortázar, Argentina
I’ve heard a lot about this book, but I haven’t read it yet. This “counter-novel” is about lovers who refuse to make arrangements.
Yo el Supremo by Augusto Roa Bastos, Paraguay
This controversial novel is part of the Latin American boom in the late 60’s. It’s the fictional story of a Paraguayan dictator who believed himself to be above all power and history.