Saturday, December 01, 2007

Best books of 2007

The Washington Post's best books of 2007 list includes seven Spanish and Latin American authors.
The Bad Girl, by Mario Vargas Llosa; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman (FSG). Irresistibly entertaining and, like all of its author's work, formidably smart. - Jonathan Yardley

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot DIaz (Riverhead). Oscar clearly is not intended to function as a hero in the classical sense. Geek swagger, baby. Get used to it. - Jabari Asim

Delirium, by Laura Restrepo; translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer (Nan A. Talese). A book-and-a-half: stunning, dense, complex, mind-blowing. The setting is Bogota, Colombia. Far above politics, right up into high art. - Carolyn See

In Her Absence, by Antonio Munoz Molina; translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen (Other). This elegant, precise and inimitable novel focuses intensely on a civil servant and his passionate yet painful relationship with his wife of six years. - Brigitte Weeks

Nada, by Carmen Laforet; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman (Modern Library). After six decades, it has lost none of its power and originality, and we are fortunate to have it in this fine translation. - JY

Dancing to "Almendra", by Mayra Montero; translated by Edith Grossman (FSG). The fictional, gossamer beauty and blood-soaked brutality that personifies Cuba of 1957. - Joanne Omang

Lost City Radio, by Daniel Alarcon (HarperCollins). Readers will recognize fragments of recent history in Argentina, Chile and, most particularly, Peru. A fable for the entire continent. - Jonathan Yardley

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