Why this book?
Argentinian masterpiece written in 1956 and only recently published in English in 2016, Zama is told from the POV of a minor Spanish official colonizing Paraguay. The alienation of Don Diego de Zama reads like a horror story—taut and psychological, he’s both villain and victim of the systems he perpetuates. Zama was adapted brilliantly into a film by Lucrecia Martel in 2017, which is how I learned about the book. I expected the film to have radically adapted its source material, but what I discovered instead was a novel from the 1950s that felt incredibly fresh and modern.