The Central American Novel

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

The Oxford Handbook Of The Latin American Novel


This chapter traces the development of the novel in Central America from the late nineteenth century to the present. It begins at the moment when romanticism and modernismo are on the wane and Central American writers begin to take up the tradition of social realism to engage with the region’s military regimes and agro-export dependency. From there, the chapter examines the rise of the testimonial novel and the literary transformations that took place from the 1960s to the 1980s, as writers grappled with the wave of state terror and left-wing insurrections that overtook the region. Lastly, the chapter surveys the key novels that address the aftermath of war and the profound social transformations ushered in by Central America’s entry into neoliberal modernity.


Central America, novel, literature, Central American history, Central American literature, revolution, war, testimonio, postwar literature

Published By

Oxford University Press


J. E. De Castro and I. López-Calvo

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