Yes, I admit it, I am a bookworm.  I loved all the literature classes I took in college; I read a book every two days during the Moldovan winters; my storage space is rented out for the primary purpose of housing my books and photos; and I do celebrate (and blog about) banned book week.

Knowing this about me, you can understand my sadness of having just learned about the 27th International Book Fair going on right now in Santiago!! This melancholy is compounded by the fact that I passed through Santiago on Friday and easily could have gone had I known about it. The fair, which is taking place Oct. 23 through Nov. 4th, is in the Cultural Center Mapocho Station.  They have a huge variety of editorials, book stores, and authors invited; not to mention that they have a series of cultural events.  Please, if you are in Chile, especially if you are in Santiago, check it out!

Having just talked about my love of books, I think its only fair to talk about the book I finished this weekend: Travesuras de una niña mala by Mario Vargas Llosa (or in English here). My love of Mario Vargas Llosa stems from a literature class I took at the Catholic University of Chile in spring 2000.  In the class, not one that many (read any other) americans signed up for we read:

  • Essays by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Aunt Julia and the Script Writer
  • Conversation in the Cathedral (the longest of his books and the one I wrote my paper on!)
  • The War at the End of the World
  • City and the Dogs
  • Captin Pantoja and the Special Service
  • The Green House
  • The Leaders and the Cubs: A short story and a novel

All of these books, of course, were read in the original Spanish so I can’t make a comment on the quality of translations.  I can, however, say that at least in Spanish his books have a rhythm to them that is lulling and enjoyable.  More over his characters are lovable and have a way of making the possible seem impossible. Up until now, I would have said that Conversations in the Cathedral or Capitan Pantoja and the Special Service were my favorites… but I think that The Bad Girl has surpassed them.  A most unusual love story about the most ordinary of men and the many incarnations of a woman never satisfied with her life, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.



  1. Clare,

    I just finished Travesuras while I was in Chile and also thought it to be one of Mario Vargas Llosa’s better books. I really enjoy perusing your blog as you have such interesting content here and it was great to meet up with you when I was still in Chile. I am in St. Louis and have begun my first semester of classes at GWB. I miss some things about Chile (read: weather) however, I am pretty sure that I will quickly adjust as this program seems excellent thus far. Best of luck with finishing up your Fulbright and coordinating the student group through GWB. Several professors and students have mentioned you here so you can rest assure that you are well remembered by the community at Wash U.

    Best wishes,

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