José Ignacio


The Rest is Jungle and Other Stories, Mario Benedetti, 2011
These short stories by a well known Uruguayan poet and author, set in Montevideo and the villages of Uruguay, bring to life the struggles and dreams of the people in this southern country.

The Letters that Never Came, Mauricio Rosencoff, 2004
This novel begins in the 1930s, when Moishe describes his Jewish immigrant father awaiting news from relatives in Poland. Decades later, as a tortured prisoner of Uruguay’s military dictatorship, Moishe uses his imagination to compose letters to his family.

The Ambivalent Corpse (2011), The Surreal Killer (2012), The Matador Murders (2012), Jerold Last
These fast-paced murder mysteries combine classic whodunit storylines with plenty of exotic sightseeing and descriptions of the region’s sights, food and wine.


Open Veins of Latin America, Eduardo Galeano, 1971
A passionately written history of Latin America by a Uruguayan journalist and poet, Open Veins, which depicts a region plagued by centuries of Europe and US-driven exploitation, has become a classic leftist text. At the 5th Summit of the Americas in 2009, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez presented Barack Obama with a copy.

Children and Teens

Uruguay – Enchantment of the World, Marion Morrison, 2005, ages 10 and up
An introduction to the geography and people of this small South American country.

The Tree of Red Stars, Tessa Bridal, 1998
After a year away at school in the U.S., a well-to-do Uruguayan teenager gains a new perspective on her troubled country. Bridal’s prize-winning debut was inspired by her own upbringing in 1960s Montevideo. Featured as a New York Public Library’s 1998 “Books for the Teenage.”


El Baño del Papa (The Pope’s Toilet), Cesar Charlon and Enrique Fernandez, 2008
When a poor Uruguayan village learns of a planned visit by Pope John Paul II, the entire town seeks to profit from the event. A contrabandist opts to build a bathroom in his yard.

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