Pinochet and Me, by journalist Marc Cooper, is his first-hand account of the 1973 military coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende, and then the transition back to democracy in the early 1990s.
Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey through Chile, by Sara Wheeler, a travel writer who explored Chile from the North to the South.
Chile’s Native Forests: A Conservation Legacy, by Ken Wilcox, describes the ancient forests of southern Chile and the efforts to save them.
The Discovery Channel’s Insight Guide to Chile has good maps, thorough information and even includes some of the rich myths and legends of Chiloe.
A Wild Idea, by Jonathan Franklin is the story of Doug Tomkins, who abandoned life as a CEO for brands like Esprit and The North Face to restore what damage had been done by his corporations through far-reaching conservation efforts in the Patagonia region.
Literature by Chilean Authors
Isabel Allende is a popular novelist who now lives in California, (she was exiled from Chile during Pinochet’s dictatorship). Her novel, My Invented Country, is a fascinating account of Chilean culture and personality. Her first novel, House of the Spirits, hearkens back to the traditional Latin American style of magical realism. For her novels based in Chile and California in the 1800s, try Ines of My Soul, or Daughter of Fortune and its sequel, Portrait in Sepia.
Pablo Neruda was a famous Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet and world traveler who wrote throughout his distinguished political career as consul and senator. His collections of poetry include Twenty Love Poems: And a Song of Despair and Odes to Common Things.
Emma Sepulveda and her friend Marjorie Agosin were exiled during the Pinochet dictatorship, and wrote about their experiences in the book Amigas: Letters of Friendship and Exile.
Movies on Chile that we have enjoyed
House of the Spirits – based on the novel by Isabel Allende.
Motorcycle Diaries – about the travels of Che Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado as they circumnavigate South America. The soundtrack is recommended also.
Missing – based on a true story, this movie recounts the disappearance of American journalist Charles Horman during the military coup in Chile in 1973.
Machuca – Andrés Wood’s drama that describes how political unrest helps spawn and destroy a friendship between two schoolboys.
180 Degrees South (2010). A documentary where Jeff Johnson retraces the 1968 journey of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia, including his goal of climbing the Corcovado Volcano in Patagonia.
Gloria (2014). Paulina Garcia gets rave reviews for her portrayal of Gloria, a middle-age woman that learns life and romance gets more interesting as one moves through life in this Chilean drama.