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In 1935, at the young age of twenty-three and in the immediate aftermath of the Chaco War, Oscar Cerruto published his first and only novel, Aluvión de fuego (Torrent of Fire), which blended political critique, realist social description, and penetrating subjective portraits. Cerruto depicts the external battle fought on the front lines between Bolivians and Paraguayans and even more so the internal battle between a repressive government, indigenous communities subject to landlord violence and forced military recruitment, and the persecuted working class and political left with which he identified. Aluvión de fuego would become one of Bolivia’s most celebrated novels,...

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