The course Global Literature: Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World was one of the most important college classes I’ve ever taken as a writer. Dr. Jo Dulan at Salem College taught this literature course. It allowed me the ability to break out of US literature and explore books on a more global scale from the vital perspective of a woman writer.

In appreciation of this experience, I have researched a few authors from various countries, provinces, regions, etc. outside of the USA that have translated works available in English; many of the writers have works available in their native tongues and other languages as well. This series is merely a tool to introduce you to a large amount of important writers.

I do not propose that the written works or the writers that I feature are the most important, the most popular, or are able to speak for an entire identity or culture. Rather, I am hoping to simply give suggestions to create interest in global literature. It is important to recognize writers — especially women, who are often underrepresented — from all parts of the world.

Keep an open mind as you read. Sometimes things are lost in translation, and sometimes a subject may take more research to understand.

This post will cover a few authors from Chile. Please feel free to suggest additional authors in the comments.

María Luisa Bombal

María Luisa Bombal/between circa 1923 and circa 1931/Source: Memoria Chilena/Public Domain

María Luisa Bombal was a novelist and short story writer born in Viña del Mar, Chile. Her writing was an early influencer of the magical realism genre.

Try this: House of Mist by Maria Luisa Bombal

Overview of House of Mist from

House of Mist stands as one of the first South American novels written in the style that was later called magical realism. Of this story of a young bride struggling with her marriage to an aloof landowner—and the mysteries surrounding their life together—in a house deep in the lush Chilean woods, Penelope Mesic wrote in the Chicago Tribune that Bombal showed “bold disregard for simple realism in favor of a heightened reality in which the external world reflects the internal truth of the characters’ feeling . . . mingling . . . fantasy, memory and event.

Learn more about Maria Luisa Bombal.

Patricia Verdugo

Patricia del Carmen Verdugo Aguirre/Source: Alchetron

Patricia Verdugo was a journalist, human rights activist, and writer born in Santiago, Chile. Her investigative reporting led to the prosecution of Augusto Pinochet.

Try this: Chile, Pinochet, and the Caravan of Death by Patricia Verdugo

Overview of Chile, Pinochet, and the Caravan of Death from

This narrative offers evidence of the mass execution of 72 political prisoners that began General Augusto Pinochet’s 20 year dictatorship. The killings terrorized Chile. This edition includes a description of Chile’s judical hearings to strip the General of his immunity.

Learn more about Patricia Verdugo.

Lina Meruane

Lina Meruane/Source: The Elliott Bay Book Company

Lina Meruane is a novelist and essayist. She was born in Santiago, Chile.

Try thisSeeing Red by Lina Meruane

Overview of Seeing Red from

This powerful, profound autobiographical novel describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke, leaving her blind and increasingly dependent on those closest to her. Fiction and autobiography intertwine in an intense, visceral, and caustic novel about the relation between the body, illness, science, and human relationships.

Learn more about Lina Meruane.

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