Great Hispanic Novels Every Student

young man reading book in the park

Hapless Alonso Quixano is an aging man, obsessed with books on chivalry. As he delves further into them, losing sleep and his sanity, he embarks on his own quests as a knight. A title that frequently tops list of best novels ever written, it’s a must-read for any college student.

Not a novel proper, but a series of shorter novellas, this work is perhaps one of the best written by the Spanish novelist, philosopher and playwright. Don’t skip the prologue, as many feel it is the best part.

This bestselling novel is set in post-Spanish Civil War Barcelona and focuses on a young boy who becomes entranced by a book he finds in a secret, old library. This leads him to seek more works by its enigmatic author — with interesting results.

At first glance, this novel appears to be about nothing much at all — no murder, no intrigue — yet for the careful reader, all of these elements are bound up in the subtle prose. While fiction, it caused uproar at Oxford and Cambridge, as many professors thought the characters had been based on them.

With a title drawn from Macbeth, this ambitious novel chronicles the life of Juan, who is struggling to both understand and hide the past (his own and his father’s) from himself.

A leading literary figure in Spain after the Civil War, Delibes’ work made a splash both in his native Spain and abroad. One of his literary masterpieces, The Rats, builds a story around small autobiographical anecdotes surrounding a small Castilian village that has disappeared.

Drawing on characters like Meville’s Bartleby the Scrivener, this novel addresses some big questions in literature and life alike. Told through the point of view of a hunchback who himself cannot write, this award-winner is a great choice for any student of literature.

Falcones isn’t a novelist by profession — he’s actually a high-profile lawyer — but you wouldn’t know it by reading this. Set in 14th century Barcelona at the height of the Inquisition, it traces the building of the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral and the life of one young boy as he grows into a man during those tumultuous times.

Blending real life with imagination, this novel follows a political prisoner during the Spanish Civil War. He survives through miraculous circumstances, and his story is told through the lens of a modern-day journalist investigating his life.

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