Here are five books to help you get into the spirit of Argentina before you visit, or to enjoy as an armchair traveller.
Bruno Cadogan has flown from New York to Buenos Aires in search of the elusive and legendary Julio Martel, a tango singer whose voice has never been recorded yet is said to be so beautiful it is almost supernatural. Bruno is increasingly drawn to the mystery of Martel and his strange and evocative performances in a series of apparently arbitrary sites around the city. As Bruno tries to find Martel, he begins to untangle the story of the singer's life, and to believe that Martel's increasingly rare performances map a dark labyrinth of the city's past.
This is a daring, deeply affecting novel about the secrets buried in the past of an Argentine family; a story of fathers and sons, corruption and responsibility, memory and history, with a mystery at its heart. A young writer, living abroad, returns home to his native Argentina to say goodbye to his dying father. In his parents' house, he finds a cache of documents -articles, maps, photographs -and unwittingly begins to unearth his father's obsession with the disappearance of a local man. Suddenly he comes face to face with the ghosts of Argentina's dark political past and with the long-hidden memories of his family's underground resistance against an oppressive military regime. As the fragments of the narrator's investigation fall into place - revealing not only a part of his father's life he had tried to forget, but also the legacy of an entire generation - My Father's Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain tells a completely original story of family and remembrance. It is an audacious accomplishment by an internationally acclaimed voice.
Part haunting crime thriller, part love story. Determined to put to rest his obsession with the decades-old brutal murder of a beautiful young woman, former detective Benjamin Chaparro sets out to write a book about it. As he reaches into the past and the lives of others who became entangled in the case, from the husband who never recovered from losing the love of his life to the brilliant intern who is now a respected judge, he recalls the beginning of his own private drama - a long unrequited love. Vividly evoking 1970s Buenos Aires and the dark underpinnings of Argentina's 'Dirty War', The Secret in their Eyes takes on the question of justice - what it really means and in whose hands it belongs.
The masterpiece of travel writing that revolutionised the genre and made its author famous overnight.
An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin’s exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through “the uttermost part of the earth” – that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome – in search of almost-forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy. An instant classic upon publication in 1977, In Patagonia is a masterpiece that has cast a long shadow upon the literary world.
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