Bolivian literature of the last decades of the twentieth century has moved between recognition of its sources and the parricide of a long literary tradition. In recognition of this tendency, represented in the recurring motif of the river in this corpus, my dissertation establishes a continuous dialogue between the present it analyzes and the literary influences of the past that continually enter the projects of writers such as Wolfgango Montes, <underline>Jonas y la ballena rosada</underline> (1987), Gonzalo Lema, <underline>Ahora que es entonces</underline> (1998), and Edmundo Paz SoldÇn,<underline> Rio fugitivo</underline> (1998). To explain the operation of water and river images within the novels of these three writers, I establish a framework of readings that connected these images of the late twentieth century to earlier images of this topos in contemporary Andean literature. Thus I begin my study referring to the main ideas about literature and identity produced in the Andes, from the first decades of the nineteenth century to the literature produced after the Chaco War (1932-1935) in Bolivia. From there, I continue to trace the influence of previous literature in my subsequent analyses of the later Bolivian writers.