Hispanic Heritage Month — celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 — is just one good way to learn about the Latinx community, their obstacles, successes, and the talented people who are forging their own paths.
Literature also gives great insight to diverse stories and perspectives. With more people having conversations about race, many are looking to books for ways to connect, learn and open their minds to the different ways of living. From non-fiction, coming-of-age stories, poetry, harrowing tales of immigrants, stories of hope and self-discovery, here is list of books by Latinx authors that you should add to your collection.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (2020)
Published in June, this horror-gothic novel has received a lot of buzz. The story follows a young woman who begins to investigate her cousin’s claims that her husband is trying to murder her. The story will soon come to the small screen, as Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos acquired the rights and will be turning the thriller into a series.
How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez (1991)
The story follows four sisters — Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia — in 1960 as they transition from life in the Dominican Republic to New York. Once in the city, they grapple with their parents’ culture and their new American way of living.
The House of Impossible Beautiesby Joseph Cassara (2018)
This captivating tale is set in New York’s underground ballroom scene in the ’80s and sees Angel, new to the drag world and ballroom, fall in love with Hector. The two then create House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latinx house in the Harlem ball circuit. After Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must continue to lead the house on her own.
Virgin by Analicia Sotelo (2018)
This book is a collection of semi-autobiographical coming-of-age poems that touch on a young Mexican American woman navigating femininity, naiveté, love and being abandoned by her father.
Undocumentedby Dan-el Padilla Peralta (2015)
This autobiography retells Peralta’s life as an undocumented immigrant who leaves Santo Domingo with his family to a New York City homeless shelter. Facing tremendous obstacles, his mother does everything to give him a better life as he becomes top of his Princeton class.
Trejo’s Tacos: Recipes and Stories From L.A.: A Cookbook by Danny Trejo (2020)
Danny Trejo’s cookbook features 75 recipes, from lowrider donuts and vegan cauliflower tacos to a sweet and spicy brisket inspired by the iconic actor’s mom’s barbacoa. It also includes stories about his lifelong love of food, childhood and how his time in prison changed the course of his life.
Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet (2016)
This novel explores what happens when Lizet, a young woman and daughter of Cuban immigrants, is torn between generational, cultural and political forces. As she leaves Miami and begins her freshman year at a top-tier university, she struggles to navigate her academic and social lives as a Latina. When an unexpected event occurs back home, an immigration battle shines the spotlight on her family and the city she grew up in.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez (2017)
15-year-old Julia Reyes believes she’s not the perfect Mexican daughter in her mother’s eyes — her older sister, Olga is. While Olga puts her family first and their traditions, Julia likes to break out of her family’s expectations and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American household. But when Olga dies suddenly, Julia must be the one that holds her family together and put her needs aside.
The Neighborhood by Mario Vargas Llosa(2016)
This page-turner chronicles the scandalous lives of the Peruvian privileged in the 1990s after the editor of the notorious tabloid Exposed, Rolando Garro, is found beaten and stabbed to death. Two men are suspected of killing Garro after their reputations were destroyed by the publication. Be ready for twists, turns, and not being able to put this book down.
One Hundred Years of Solitudeby Gabriel García Márquez (1967)
This critically acclaimed book follows seven generations of the Buendía family. From life to death, poverty, war, love and even the supernatural, this piece of literature touches on the repetition of history and family. It is considered García Márquez’s magnum opus.
Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher(2020)
Set in 2023 in a near-future America, this dystopian novel follow a young girl and her brother after all citizens are chipped and tracked. Used to living as undocumented immigrants, they live a happy life in a small town of Vermont. But when their mother’s counterfeit chip starts to malfunction, they are forced to flee after the Deportation Forces attempt to find them. Think The Handmaid’s Tale meets Vox.
Historically Inaccurateby Shay Bravo (2020)
A new book on the market, this non-fiction novel follows Soledad “Sol” Gutierrez a year after her mother’s deportation. All Sol wants is her life to go back to normal and fit in, but everything has changed. When she joins her community college’s history club, it comes with an odd initiation process: break into Westray’s oldest house and steal . . . a fork? As she attempts to sneak into the home, something goes awry.
Find these and more at your local bookstore. For more Hispanic Heritage Month content, see below.
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