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Chronicle of the fallow years

From Gabriel García Márquez to Mario Vargas Llosa, Latin American writers have been celebrated worldwide. But the 1960s "boom" has bust. Richard Gott explains why the Latin American novelist ran out of steam

By Richard Gott   January 1996

Everyone knows that there was once a Latin American “boom” in the writing of fiction. The names of Gabriel García Márquez (who was born in 1928) and Mario Vargas Llosa (born in 1936) are still dropped into the conversation whenever world literature in the second half of the 20th century is discussed. At least half a dozen other names could be bravely mentioned: Julio Cort?r (b.1914), Carlos Fuentes (b.1928), and Augusto Roa Bastos (b.1917) among them. European publishers have long lived in hope that other such jewels might yet be picked up in the desert.

What is less well known outside…

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