Books: South American Gothic

ON HEROES AND TOMBS by Ernesto Sábato; Godine; 479 pages; $17.95

First published in Argentina in 1961, this long novel had to wait nearly 20 years for a suitable English translation (by Helen R. Lane) and a willing U.S. publisher. In the meantime, Sobre Héroes y Tumbas confirmed Ernesto Sábato's home-grown reputation as one of South America's leading writers and, when translations began spreading, brought him world-class praise. It is good that English-speaking readers can finally join this celebration and sad that they must come so late. Some of the novel's topicality has dimmed...

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