The Vortex

A Novel

The Vortex

Book Pages: 240 Illustrations: 1 illustration Published: April 2018

Latin American Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Fiction

Published in 1924 and widely acknowledged as a major work of twentieth-century Latin American literature, José Eustasio Rivera's The Vortex follows the harrowing adventures of the young poet Arturo Cova and his lover Alicia as they flee Bogotá and head into the wild and woolly backcountry of Colombia. After being separated from Alicia, Arturo leaves the high plains for the jungle, where he witnesses firsthand the horrid conditions of those forced or tricked into tapping rubber trees. A story populated by con men, rubber barons, and the unrelenting landscape, The Vortex is both a denunciation of the sensational human-rights abuses that took place during the Amazonian rubber boom and one of the most famous renderings of the natural environment in Latin American literary history.


"José Eustacio Rivera’s dark and lyrical 1924 masterpiece about a big city poet who ventures into the Amazonian jungle in search of revenge, and instead discovers the horrifying truth about the rubber industry, is a book that operates on multiple levels as a work of art." — The Old Book Appreciator

"With John Charles Chasteen's translation of The Vortex, José Eustasio Rivera's seminal novel about the geographical vastness and mystical power of the Amazonian jungle and the heartless exploitation of its riches and its inhabitants should garner new fans in the English-speaking world. Chasteen's restrained yet evocative lyricism succeeds in breathing vibrant new life into Rivera's depiction of the clash of two civilizations, the tragedy that ensued, and the repercussions that are felt to this day. This absorbing translation makes clear why The Vortex is as relevant today as it was when the novel was first published almost one hundred years ago." — Jaime Manrique

“When in 1928 José Eustasio Rivera died in New York, he was intent on finding an American publisher to bring out his environmentalist novel The Vortex in English. Ironically, the environmentalist concerns he addressed are as timely as ever.” — Ilan Stavans


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

José Eustasio Rivera (1889–1928) was a Colombian poet, novelist, and lawyer. The Vortex is his best-known and most influential work.

John Charles Chasteen is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is the author and translator of numerous books.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: A Player in the Rainforest  ix
Prologue  1
Part One  3
Part Two  81
Part Three  147
Epilogue  219
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-7110-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-7085-7