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Reading and literature

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Argentina > Literature of Argentina
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For a taste of the work of important poet and short-story writer, Jorge Luis Borges, try the unsurpassable short-story collection Labyrinths or the playful A Universal History of Infamy. Ernesto Sábato's On Heroes and Tombs is a psychological novel exploring the people and places of Buenos Aires. Manuel Puig's novels such as Kiss of the Spider Woman and Betrayed by Rita Hayworth focus on the ambiguous role of popular culture in Argentina. D F Sarmiento's Life in the Argentine Republic in the Days of the Tyrants is an eloquent but often condescending contemporary look at Federalism, and both Unitarism and Federalism are analyzed in José Luis Romero's A History of Argentine Political Thought. Gauchos and the Vanishing Frontier by Richard W Slatta covers the history of that famous figure. Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle is surprisingly fresh, and his account of the gaucho is a vivid evocation of a way of life which many Argentines still relate to. The many books on Perón include Perón and the Enigma of Argentina by Robert Crassweller. The Disappeared: Voices from a Secret War by John Simpson and Jana Bennett is an excellent account of that shadowy period, the Dirty War. I Counted Them All Out and I Counted Them All Back is a journalistic account of the Falklands War by Brian Hanrahan and Robert Fox. Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia is an informed synthesis of life and landscape, and Gerald Durrell's entertaining accounts of his travels in Argentina include The Drunken Forest and The Whispering Land. Cineastes may want to check out the chilling Apartment Zero, the beautifully off-beat The Man Who Faced Southeast and the film version of Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman.

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