Peruvian books – our Reading list for “After your trip”

You just came back from your trip to Peru and loved it ? If you would like to deepen your knowledge, here is a small list of Peruvian books that will allow you to continue this Peruvian feeling for some more time 🙂 We have divided the books by Northern, Andes and Amazonia part, Lima or then Inca-history.

North, Andes and Amazonia

Captain Pantoja and the special service (1990)

By Mario Vargas Llosa

This delightful farce opens as the prim and proper Captain Pantoja learns he is to be sent to Peru’s Amazon frontier. On a secret mission for the army to provide females for the amorous recruits. Side-splitting complications arise as word of Captain Pantoja’s remarkable achievements start to spread.

But Vargas Llosa also weaves the tragic fate of brother Francisco, another fanatic, who urges his believers to crucify animals, then human beings to ward off the “Evil”.

Who killed Palomino Molero ? (1989)

By Mario Vargas Llosa

This wonderful detective novel is set in Peru in the 1950s. Near an Air Force base in the northern desert. A young airman is found murdered. Lieutenant Silva and Officer Lituma investigate. Lacking a squad car, they have to cajole a local cabbie into taking them to the scene of the crime. Their superiors are indifferent; the commanding officer of the air base stands in their way;

Who Killed Palomino Molero, an entertaining and brilliantly plotted mystery, takes up one of Vargas Llosa’s characteristic themes: the despair at how hard it is to be an honest man in a corrupt society.

Peruvian books

Lima and South of Peru

Deep Rivers (2002)

By José Maria Arguedas

José María Arguedas saw the beauty of the Peruvian landscape, as well as the grimness of social conditions in the Andes. Through the eyes of the Indians.

Ernesto, the narrator of Deep Rivers, is a child with origins in two worlds. The son of a wandering country lawyer. He is brought up by Indian servants until he enters a Catholic boarding school at age 14. In this urban Spanish environment, he is a misfit and a loner. 

For the boy Ernesto, salvation is his world of dreams and memories. While Arguedas’ poetry was published in Quechua. He invented a language for his novels in which he used native syntax with Spanish vocabulary. This makes translation into other languages extremely difficult, and Frances Horning Barraclough has done a masterful job, winning the 1978 Translation Center Award from Columbia University for her efforts.

Peruvian books about Inca culture

Royal commentaries of the Incas and general history of Peru (2006)

By Garcilazo de la Vega El Inca

This is one of the reference books about Inca daily life. Written by the son of a captain of Pizarro and the Huayna Capac’s niece.

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