Celebrated from September 15th until October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to expand your reading horizons.
Here are some fiction selections to start with.
Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis
A genre-defining novel and De Robertis’s masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. At once timeless and groundbreaking, Cantoras is a tale about the fire in all our souls and those who make it burn.
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found dead near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their death as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas–the Butterflies. Also available an eBook on Overdrive and Hoopla
Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado–a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite–these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz’s Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art.
Here are some ideas for memoir lovers.
My Broken Language: a Memoir by Quiara Alegría Hudes
A Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright shares her lyrical coming-of-age story against a backdrop of her devastated barrio home and the idiosyncratic, troubled and fiercely loving Puerto Rican family that inspired her literary voice.
Ordinary Girls: a Memoir by Jaquira Diaz
Jaquira Díaz writes an unflinching account of growing up as a queer biracial girl searching for home as her family splits apart and her mother struggles with mental illness and addiction. From her own struggles with depression and drug abuse to her experiences of violence to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page vibrates with music and lyricism. Also available as an eBook on Hoopla.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Muchado
The award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties shares the story of her relationship with an abusive partner and how it was shaped by her religious upbringing, her sexual orientation and inaccurate cultural beliefs about psychological trauma. Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be. Also available as a downloadable audiobook on Hoopla.