Juan Rulfo was a prominent Mexican writer and photographer, best known for his seminal works 'Pedro Páramo' and 'El Llano en llamas'. His literary contributions are considered to be among the foundations of the modern Spanish-language novel and short story. Rulfo's narrative style is marked by complex structure, vivid imagery, and themes of rural life and the supernatural. His work has had a profound influence on Latin American literature and a generation of writers, including Gabriel García Márquez.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
1. Pedro Paramo
The novel is a surrealistic exploration of Mexico, following a man named Juan Preciado who travels to the town of Comala to find his father, Pedro Paramo. Upon arrival, he discovers that Comala is a ghost town, inhabited by the spirits of its former residents. As Juan interacts with these spirits, the story of Pedro Paramo, a powerful and ruthless landowner, slowly unfolds. The narrative shifts between the past and the present, revealing a cycle of sin, corruption, and retribution that has left Comala and its people in a state of purgatory.
"The Burning Plain and Other Stories" is a collection of short narratives set in the harsh rural areas of Mexico, depicting the brutal realities of peasant life. The stories are filled with characters who are haunted by their past, living in extreme poverty, and often meeting violent ends. The book is renowned for its stark, realistic portrayal of life and its exploration of the human capacity for hope and survival in the face of despair.
3. Pedro Páramo
This novel transports readers to the ghost town of Comala, where the protagonist, Juan Preciado, ventures in search of his estranged father, Pedro Páramo. Upon arrival, he encounters a realm where the living and the dead coexist, and through fragmented narratives and spectral encounters, the story of Pedro Páramo's life, his love, tyranny, and the curses that plague the town unfolds. The novel's innovative structure, blending memory and reality, has cemented its status as a pioneering work of magical realism, offering a haunting exploration of power, guilt, and the inescapable echoes of the past.