We spoke to the proprietor of Duende District Bookstore and she shared some of her favorite reads!
Describe your shop!
Duende District is a pop-up boutique bookstore for and by people of color, where all are welcome.
What’s your career highlight as a bookstore owner?
The community I’ve found with Duende District, from D.C. to New York City to Denver to Albuquerque. All our supporters and customers are family, our gente. We celebrate and uplift Black and brown voices every day, and literary spaces like Duende prove our joy is our revolution.
What books are you recommending right now?
1. The Year of the Witching, by Alexis Henderson, is a delightful dark fantasy set in a Puritan-esque world where a young woman must claim her magical destiny in the sharp teeth of a brutal racist patriarchal regime.
2. The Mothers, by Brit Bennett, has been a favorite of mine since its original publication. Centering around a young woman struggling with losing her mother to suicide, she ends up making a decision that will impact her life for years to come.
3. It is so difficult to pick my favorite book by Helen Oyeyemi as I am a huge fan of her brilliant genre-bending reimagined fairy tales, but Mr. Fox holds a special place in my heart as it is a quirky, unexpected Blue Beard story where a writer must battle his muse, who refuses to let him keep killing off his female characters.
4. The Incendiaries, by R.O. Kwon, is one of my favorite debut novels ever. Tightly written, gorgeously paced, Kwon’s story of a young man who falls for a woman who ultimately leads him into a dark, confusing world of a cult, is everything I think a novel should be.
5. Anyone who knows the origin of Duende District has heard of my love for A Cup of Water Under My Bed, by Daisy Hernández. The memoir begins when she immigrates to the U.S. from Colombia as a child and we follow her life-long journey as she navigates a country that continually otherizes her, as well as so many of us whose family are Latinx immigrants. This book moved mountains in my mind and helped me find the courage to follow my bookselling dream to create a store that centers BIPOC authors and communities.