|Image courtesy of "Tao of Travel" by way of |
Henry Shukman's NY Times review of the text.
During my daily perusal of all things Chile, I came upon this excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Chile and Easter Island guide. Relying upon images and captions the excerpt is quite brief, but still covers a good selection of pre-travel literature. Even a quick skim of a few pages will help perk your interest and bring your cultural/historical/political lens into better focus.
While I cannot speak to the literary quality narrative intrigue of each text, I am willing to personally vouch for Chatwin's In Patagonia, any and all of Neruda's poetry, and Guevara's Motorcycle Diaries (I must [somewhat sheepishly] admit this recommendation is based on my analysis of the film adaptation of the text [but it was a film that I taught in one of my classes; to demonstrate my literary and academic credentials - given my review of other Guevara texts, I'm willing to help contextualize the flim/text a bit more]). In addition to the Lonely Planet list, I encourage you to hunt down a copy of Neruda's Memoirs, Theroux's Old Patagonia Express and The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road (not specifically focused on Chile, but a great read for travel enthusiasts, students of cultural mindfulness, or anyone planning/hoping to travel), as well as a dual-authored text from Chatwin and Theroux - Patagonia Revisited.