Books to Read for Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month
Join us in celebrating Latinx and Hispanic authors, creators, and trailblazers whose stories are redefining identity and shaping today’s culture, from music to politics and everything in between. Share these incredible stories year-round using the hashtag #IAmLaCultura.
A young poet tells the unforgettable story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this moving, page-turning memoir hailed as “the mythic journey of our era” (Sandra Cisneros). Solito is Javier Zamora’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
De jóvenes, Florentino Ariza y Fermina Daza se enamoran apasionadamente, pero Fermina eventualmente decide casarse con un médico rico y de muy buena familia. Florentino está anonadado, pero es un romántico. Su carrera en los negocios florece, y aunque sostiene 622 pequeños romances, su corazón todavía pertenece a Fermina. Cuando al fin el esposo de ella muere, Florentino acude al funeral con toda intención. A los cincuenta años, nueve meses y cuatro días de haberle profesado amor a Fermina, lo hará una vez más.
Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…
In 1976, Tomás Orilla is a medical student in Buenos Aires, where he has moved in hopes of reuniting with Isabel, a childhood crush. But the reckless passion that has long drawn him is leading Isabel ever deeper into the ranks of the insurgency fighting an increasingly oppressive regime. Tomás has always been willing to follow her anywhere, to do anything to prove himself. Yet what exactly is he proving, and at what cost to them both? Raising profound questions about the sometimes impossible choices we make in the name of love, Hades, Argentina is a gripping, ingeniously narrated literary debut.
In concise prose, Puerto Rican activist Luisa Capetillo advocates a workers’ revolution, forcefully demanding an end to the exploitation and subordination of workers and women. Her essays cover topics such as sexuality, mental and physical health, hygiene, spirituality, and nutrition. At once a sharp critique and a celebration of the gathering fervor of world politics, A Nation of Women embraces the humanistic thinking of the early twentieth century and envisions a world in which economic and social structures can be broken down, allowing both the worker and the woman to be free.
Although only six years old, Antonio Marez is perceptive beyond his years. He was brought into the world with the help of Ultima, a curandera, or folk healer, in touch with nature and the spirit world. Ultima’s loving tutelage will help him navigate questions of life and death, good and evil, and reveal to him the vastness of the heritage that shapes him, in this pioneering work of literature.
From the author of The House of the Spirits comes this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents as it follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.
Discover Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s journey from a New York City homeless shelter to the top of his Princeton class. Undocumented is essential reading for the debate on immigration, but it is also an unforgettable tale of a passionate young scholar coming of age in two very different worlds.
At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, Trust engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts. An unparalleled novel about money, power, intimacy, and perception.
The co-founder of the Women’s March makes her YA debut in a near future dystopian where a young girl and her brother must escape a xenophobic government to find sanctuary. It’s 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked–from buses to grocery stores. It’s almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that’s exactly what sixteen-year-old Vali is doing. She and her family have carved out a stable, happy life in small-town Vermont, but when Vali’s mother’s counterfeit chip starts malfunctioning and the Deportation Forces raid their town, they are forced to flee. Listen to the audiobook here.
A writer of “startling talent” (The New York Times Book Review), Alejandro Zambra returns with his most substantial work yet: a story of fathers and sons, ambition and failure, and what it means to make a family.
Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as “an illegal”, but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi’s, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She’s asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It’s a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief. Listen to the audiobook here.
From the co-creator of Deadpool and author of Suburban Dicks comes a diabolically funny murder mystery that features two unlikely sleuths investigating a murder that reveals the dark underbelly of suburban marriage.
At his modest home on the edge of town, the former president of an unnamed Latin American country receives a journalist in his famed gardens to discuss his legacy and the dire circumstances that threaten democracy around the globe. Once known as the Poorest President in the World, his reputation is the stuff of myth: a former guerilla who was jailed for inciting revolution before becoming the face of justice, human rights, and selflessness for his nation. As engrossing as it is innovative, vivid, moving, and full of wit and humor, The President and the Frog explores the resilience of the human spirit and what is possible when danger looms.
In this empowering cross-country travelogue, journalist and activist Paola Ramos embarks on a journey to find the communities of people defining the term, “Latinx.” She introduces us to the indigenous Oaxacans who rebuilt the main street in a post-industrial town in upstate New York, the “Las Poderosas” who fight for reproductive rights in Texas, the musicians in Milwaukee whose beats reassure others of their belonging, as well as drag queens, environmental activists, farmworkers, and the migrants detained at our border. Drawing on intensive field research as well as her own personal story, Ramos chronicles how “Latinx” has given rise to a sense of collectivity and solidarity among Latinos unseen in this country for decades.
En esta inspiradora crónica de viaje de costa a costa, la periodista y activista Paola Ramos emprende una búsqueda de los individuos y comunidades que dan vida a un nuevo movimiento que esta definiendo el término controversial “Latinx”. A partir de su trabajo periodístico sobre el terreno, así como de su historia personal, Ramos ilustra como el término “Latinx” ha dado paso a un sentimiento de pertenencia y solidaridad sin precedentes entre los latinos de este país.
Mariana Enriquez has been critically lauded for her unconventional and sociopolitical stories of the macabre. Populated by unruly teenagers, crooked witches, homeless ghosts, and hungry women, they walk the uneasy line between urban realism and horror. Written against the backdrop of contemporary Argentina, and with a resounding tenderness toward those in pain, in fear, and in limbo, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is Mariana Enriquez at her most sophisticated, and most chilling.
Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life–if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.
A “dazzling, cinematic, intimate, lyrical” (Roxane Gay) epic of betrayal, love, and fate that spans five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West, from the author of the National Book Award finalist Sabrina & Corina.
As a young woman, Corina leaves her Mexican family in Chicago to pursue her dream of becoming a writer in the cafés of Paris. Instead, she spends her brief time in the City of Light running out of money and lining up with other immigrants to call home from a broken payphone. But the months of befriending panhandling artists in the métro, sleeping on crowded floors, and dancing the tango at underground parties are given a lasting glow by her intense friendships with Martita and Paola. Over the years the three women disperse to three continents, falling out of touch and out of mind—until a rediscovered letter brings Corina’s days in Paris back with breathtaking immediacy.
Beatriz loves music. More than her school — more than her friends — and definitely more than her homework. After Beatriz discovers that her grandfather’s soul is trapped in his guitar, she becomes determined to get him out. But the only way to free him is to play the perfect song — his perfect song, a song that he never actually wrote down. Fixated on freeing her grandfather, music slowly consumes Beatriz’s life. Soon she finds herself growing obsessed with perfection at the expense of her friendships, her band, and her health. Beatriz won’t let anything stop her. Even if it means losing everything else.
From the bestselling author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree, comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic memoir reclaiming her family’s otherworldly legacy. Interweaving family stories more enchanting than those in any novel, resurrected Colombian history, and her own deeply personal reckonings with the bounds of reality, Rojas Contreras writes her way through the incomprehensible and into her inheritance. The result is a luminous testament to the power of storytelling as a healing art and an invitation to embrace the extraordinary.
In this fiercely inspiring book from a fresh new voice in the women’s empowerment space, psychotherapist Christine Gutierrez welcomes women to join her in healing the wounds from past hurt or trauma to reclaim their worth and come back home to their true self and soul. Diosa is the Spanish word for Goddess. A diosa is anyone who honors the primal feminine energy in the world and within themselves. From stories of resilience from both Gutierrez and members of her Diosa Tribe, to mantras, meditations, and guided journaling prompts, this book gives women the tools they need to honor their sacred feminine and become who they were always meant to be.
In this unflinching and inspiring memoir, Jesse Leon tells an extraordinary story of resilience and survival, shining a light on a childhood spent devastated by sex trafficking, street life, and substance abuse.
In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors shares the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican Americans. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today’s young readers.
The first new edition in ten years of this important study of Latinos in U.S. history, Harvest of Empire spans five centuries—from the European colonization of the Americas to through the 2020 election. Latinos are now the largest minority group in the United States, and their impact on American culture and politics is greater than ever. Gonzalez highlights the complexity of a segment of the American population that is often discussed but frequently misrepresented. This landmark history is required reading for anyone wishing to understand the history and legacy of this influential and diverse group.
Unbeknownst to her, Clara has been marked for la Lotería. Life and Death deal the Lotería cards but once a year, and the stakes could not be higher. Every card reveals a new twist in Clara’s fate. But Clara knows none of this. All she knows is that her young cousin Esteban has vanished, and she’ll do whatever it takes to save him, traveling to the mythical Kingdom of Las Pozas, where every action has a price, and every choice has consequences. And though it seems her fate is sealed, Clara just might have what it takes to shatter the game and choose a new path.
From the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, an utterly original memoir-in-essays that is as deeply moving as it is hilarious. Raunchy, insightful, unapologetic, and brutally honest, Crying in the Bathroom is Sánchez at her best—a book that will make you feel that post-confessional high that comes from talking for hours with your best friend.
Sarai is a first-generation Puerto Rican eighth grader who can see with clarity the truth, pain, and beauty of the world both inside and outside her Bushwick apartment. Together with her older sister Estrella, she navigates the strain of family traumas and the systemic pressures of toxic masculinity and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn. Sarai questions the society around her, her Boricua identity, and the life she lives with determination and an open heart, learning to celebrate herself in a way that she has been denied.
“Dios aprieta, pero no ahorca” (“God squeezes, but He doesn’t strangle”)–the epigraph of Machete–sets the stage for a powerful poet who summons a variety of ways to endure life when there’s an invisible hand at your throat. Tomás Morín hails from the coastal plains of Texas, and explores a world where identity and place shift like that ever-changing shore.
Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she’s not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer–what’s sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet’s coming out crashes and burns, she’s not sure her mom will ever speak to her again. In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet learns what it means to come out–to the world, to her family, to herself.
The mixed-race grandson of ex-slaves, Machado de Assis is not only Brazil’s most celebrated writer but also a writer of world stature, who has been championed by the likes of Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, Allen Ginsberg, John Updike, and Salman Rushdie. In his masterpiece, the 1881 novel The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (translated also as Epitaph of a Small Winner), the ghost of a decadent and disagreeable aristocrat decides to write his memoir. Wildly imaginative, wickedly witty, and ahead of its time, the novel has been compared to the work of everyone from Cervantes to Sterne to Joyce to Nabokov to Borges to Calvino, and has influenced generations of writers around the world.