What is it about?

This essay provides an overview of how to think about international Westerns, and specifically Argentinian Westerns that dialogue with more local stories about gaucho adventurers. This essay foregrounds a case study about an award-winning novel by Perla Suez, titled El país del diablo (The Devil's Country, 2015), which is set in Patagonia in 1879. Suez's novel focuses on an indigenous girl who seeks to avenge her massacred tribe by pursuing and killing the company of Argentinian soldiers responsible for the crime. This essay shows the techniques that Suez uses to redefine the meaning of the "frontier" in Argentina, and to symbolically connect nineteenth-century crimes with Argentina's twentieth-century migrant experience.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Perla Suez is one of Argentina's most critically acclaimed novelists. Her novel The Devil's Country also commands our interest because it is a brilliant example of how authors outside of the United States are reimagining the American West by using some of its motifs in their novels, as well as weaving together different kinds of storytelling traditions into the same story. In the case of The Devil's Country, we see a combination of historical fiction, horror, and the "revenger" Western.


I really believe in Perla Suez's The Devil's Country. I think it is one of the finest and most provocative short novels to come out of Argentina in the past ten years.

Christopher Conway
University of Texas at Arlington

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Captives on the Frontier: Perla Suez and the Cultural Genealogies of the Argentinian Western, Western American Literature, January 2019, Project Muse,
DOI: 10.1353/wal.2019.0034.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page