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One of the largest countries in Latin America—with one of the biggest and most prolific publishing industries, to boot—Argentina has produced a wealth of incredible writers, among them Silvina Ocampo and Norah Lange.
However, if you’re looking for some more contemporary Argentine writers, here’s my pick of just five you should know (and read). Yes, this was tough to narrow down.
(Please note that this series focuses on authors and essayists. For poets from Argentina, check out this post.)
Known for her unsettling short stories and novels, Mariana Enríquez—born in Buenos Aires in 1973—is a journalist, writer, and teacher. Among her best known works are Cosas que perdimos en el fuego (Things We Lost in the Fire, in English); Nuestra parte de noche, which won the Premio Herralde in 2019; and Los peligros de fumar en la cama (The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, in English), nominated for the International Man Booker 2021. Megan McDowell is her regular English-language translator.
Gabriela Cabezón Cámara
Born in Buenos Aires in 1968, Gabriela Cabezón Cámara is a writer who is perhaps best known for her two novels La Virgen Cabeza (translated as Slum Virgin by Frances Riddle) and Las aventuras de la China Iron (translated as The Adventures of China Iron by Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre). The latter was nominated for the International Booker Prize in 2020. Cabezón Cámara also co-founded the #NiUnaMenos movement.
With a style that’s been likened to Carson McCullers and Flannery O’Connor, Entre Ríos-born Selva Almada is a poet, novelist, and short story writer whose work has been translated into multiple languages. She currently has close to a dozen titles to her name, among them The Wind that Lays Waste (trans. Chris Andrews), Dead Girls (trans. Annie McDermott), and Brickmakers (trans. Annie McDermott). Film rights have been sold to her novel The Wind that Lays Waste.
Pola Oloixarac (the pseudonym of Argentine writer Paola Caracciolo) was born in Buenos Aires in 1977 and named one of the Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists by Granta in 2010. A writer, journalist, and translator, Oloixarac is the author of three novels to date—Savage Theories, Dark Constellations (both trans. Roy Kesey) and Mona (trans. Adam Morris)—all of which have been translated into English. You can also find her fiction translated into Dutch, French, Finnish, Portuguese, and Italian.
Camila Sosa Villada
Born in 1982 in Córdoba Province, Argentina, Camila Sosa Villada is a transgender writer and actress perhaps best known for her novel Las malas, as well as her collection of poetry, La novia de Sandro, and the essay collection El viaje inútil. A critical success upon its Spanish-language release, Las malas has since been translated into Portuguese and won Sosa Villada the Sor Juana Prize in 2020.