our head of languages made my friend study loads of literature in both languages before his interview - and he was quizzed on almost all of it.
can't remember any spanish titles, french titles included l'etranger, boule de suif and un sac de billes.
Put it this way, I've read about 20 spanish books and I didn't get asked about a single one in interview. Then again if they do ask you what you've read and you've read nothing you're ****ed.
I recommend anything by marquez,becquer,lorca,allende,es quivel, the authors generally everyone reads. cervantes (novelas ejemplares. dont even bother saying youve read don quijote in the vulgate, they wont believe you. i'm reading it in the original at the moment and it's taking bloody ages.) read some plays by calderon de la barca or lope de vega.
Oh and i really don't like the foreign HP translations. i've got them in french and spanish and neither do the job.
Marquez is good, but dense enough in english. If you plan to read it in spanish, then good luck.
Have you not read "Love in the time of cholera"?
It took bloody ages!
Rather than reading English books in Spanish (although this would be good for your language), you're probably actually better off reading Spanish texts in English. But there's some approachable enough stuff in the original language too... I would steer clear of the stuff most people read (Casa de Bernada Alba, Cien anos etc), coz interviewers are probably sick of talking about it and there is as good, if not better, stuff that is no more difficult. Marquez isn't that hard, and neither is Allende (I read "Cronica de una muerte anunciada" by Marquez and "Casa de los espiritus", "De amor y de sombra" and "Cuentos de Eva Luna" by Allende - the last one is a collection of short stories which are very good and very easy to dip into). You might want to get the English too (coz Espiritus especially is fairly long to read in the Spanish) and start each chapter in Spanish before moving onto English when you feel the need. My Spanish teacher advised us against Golden Age plays in the end coz he said they're not that great for our language (he likened it to reading Chaucer in English) although if you want to, it might provide something a bit different to talk about (altho I know that at least one Golden Age play was actually a set text last year). Oh, and some poetry would be good too: something a bit unusual maybe (my interviewer liked the fact I'd read and written about Lorca's "Romancero gitano", which is also a first-year text at Oxford). And, by the way, I personally was quizzed quite a lot both in my general interview and my Spanish one about the literature on my PS.
Hope that helps!
*edit* I think Borges has some decent short stories too - Ficciones?
I've read 'Los funerales de la Mama Grande' and 'Una chronica de una muerte anunciada' by Marquez which were good and Lorca, but as someone said, try to steer away from the stereotypical literature and read what interests you.
Oh, and of course, it's not really enough to read them - you have to be able to talk about them, so remember to THINK about them as you go along (!) and look for themes etc as well as characterisation.
Ok then... It seems a general consensus that I should read "una chronica de una muerte anunciada"... I'll have to make a list of all these books...
What's it about? I'm going to see if I can buy it on Amazon.. I'm currently half way through HP 3 and I'm getting the first two for Crimbo so they'll help improve my language before I get into "Chronica"...
Ah ok... Sounds good... Seeing I'm getting just money for Xmas, I can get it with that money...
oh yeh cronica's a great book. oh and if you're into esquivel, read tan veloz como el deseo, which is a great book.