BOOK LIST:

Latinx Heritage Month: Fiction & Literature

Updated: October 16, 2021

A selection of poetry, short stories, novels and memoirs from ancient and modern writers.


The adventures and misadventures of Maqroll
Mutis, Alvaro.

These are the combined stories about the adventurer Maqroll, known as "el Gaviero" or the Lookout. The stories are in the picaresque tradition--humorous and ribald. The life of the author, Álvaro Mutis, was an adventure as documented in his obituary.


The barbarian nurseries
Tobar, Hector, 1963-

In an affluent Los Angeles community, a Mexican live-in maid, Araceli, discovers that her employers are gone, and she is left in a sprawling house, with the owners' two little boys. So begins an adventure in today's Los Angeles, as Araceli takes the two children on a search for their grandfather Señor Torres. 


Black dove : mama, mi'jo, and me
Castillo, Ana,
Call Number: 814 C352

Ana Castillo, novelist, poet, journalist, and social critic, recounts the challenges, joys in this collection of personal essays.


Bless me, Ultima
Anaya, Rudolfo A.
Call Number: Ed.f

Young Anthony Márez tells the tale of his boyhood, his friends, his religious stirrings, the events of his small community, and the wisdom of Ultima, a curandera who became his teacher, in this lyrical novel.


The book of ruin
Gonzalez, Rigoberto,
Call Number: 811 G6424-3

Through his poetry Rigoberto González lyrically confronts harrowing cultural, political and moral issues.


The book of unknown Americans : a novel
Henríquez, Cristina, 1977-
In an apartment building in Delaware, nine families of immigrants from Central and South America have taken up residence in the hopes of creating new and better lives in America. Told in alternating voices, the many stories center around the budding - and tragic - romance between two teenagers. This beautiful, powerful book is a must read.

The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao
Di?az, Junot, 1968-

Dominican Republic

Details the experiences of Oscar and his family and friends in New Jersey and the Dominican Republic, exposing you to a rich mix of the cultures in both locations.

 


Che in verse
Call Number: 808.1 C5145

Written by writers from all over the world this collection of poems pays tribute to Che Guevara


The collected stories of Machado de Assis
Machado de Assis, 1839-1908,

A collection of the short stories of Brazilian writer Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, whose work has influenced writers throughout the world. The grandson of freed slaves, Machado de Assis had a discerning eye in observing people of all social classes and wrote about humanity with empathy and satire.


The complete stories
Lispector, Clarice,

A complete collection, for the first time in English, of Clarice Lispector's short stories. She is one of South America's recently "discovered" major writers.


Daughter of fortune : a novel
Allende, Isabel.

Pregnant and abandoned in Chile by her lover who is lured by the California gold rush, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Sommers heads to San Francisco herself.  Disguised as a boy, she spends four years searching for the man she thought she loved, all the while being guided and cared for by Tao Chi-en, a Chinese healer.This is a sweeping historical novel that follows the adventures of its heroine from her childhood in Chile to the gold fields of California as she searches for her first love.

 


The distant marvels
Acevedo, Chantel,

From today's news and headlines, Acevedo depicts a love story set within the history of Castro's Cuba; about those who dare to leave and those who do not; and Maria Sirena's story about her incredible family of fiercely strong, independent people.


Don Quixote
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616.
Call Number: Ed.xx

This is one of the world's great classics.  Over the centuries there have been numerous translations, and this one by Edith Grossman is thought to be one of the finest. There have been plays, ballets, an opera and a musical, Man of La Mancha based on the novel. And it has generated a word, quixotic, and a phrase, "tilting at windmills".


The Elements of San Joaquin: Poems
Soto, Gary,
Call Number: 811 S718 2018

In this new edition of a classic work of poetry, Gary Soto draws upon his own Chicano heritage and of others who labored as immigrant agricultural workers in the San Joaquin Valley.


The fat man from La Paz : contemporary fiction from Bolivia
Call Number: SS

A lively collection of short stories by Bolivian writers, some of whom warrant more readers.


For all of us, one today : an inaugural poet's journey
Blanco, Richard, 1968-
Call Number: 811 B6395B

Richard Blanco was the fifth poet selected to read an original poem for a United States Presidential Inauguration. As an openly gay man and Cuban immigrant this was a very special event, which he recounts with humor, insight and reverence. 


Gabriela Mistral, the poet and her work. Translated by Helene Masslo Anderson.
Arce de Vazquez, Margot.
Call Number: 861 M678Ar

 

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945 "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world"


Golpes bajos : instantaneas = Low blows : snapshots
Borinsky, Alicia.
Call Number: 861 B734

Short bilingual prose poems/flash fiction portray Buenos Aires in all of its glitz, sadness, hope and unbroken political turmoil.


Happy families : stories
Fuentes, Carlos.
Acclaimed novelist Carlos Fuentes makes a foray into short fiction with this stellar collection that explores the lives of many different Mexican families.

Hermosa
Salgado, Yesika
Call Number: 811 S164-2

Salvadoran poet Yesika Salgado is based in Los Angeles and writes about her family and her culture.


Hi, This is Conchita and Other Stories
Roncagliolo, Santiago,

Santiago Roncagliolo has written a very sassy, funny and touching short story collection about relationships and communication. 


His own man
Ribeiro, Edgard Telles.

A deeply involving look at South America's political turmoil during the 1960s and 1970s, when several nations' left-leaning governments were toppled by the military, with the covert assistance of the CIA, and many people lost their careers and possessions, or simply "disappeared".  In a "Citizen Kane"-style narrative spanning forty years, a Brazilian diplomat obsessively tracks the involvement of Max, his onetime friend, mentor and colleague, in the intrigues that destroyed the lives of thousands of people in Chile, Uruguay, and their own country.


A house of my own : stories from my life
Cisneros, Sandra.
Call Number: 813 C579C

Sandra Cisneros is best known for: The house on Mango Street and Woman hollering creek and other stories. Through a collection of non-fiction pieces, she weaves together the story of her life and work.


Hurricane season
Melchor, Fernanda, 1982-

A small town so isolated there could be a wall around it. There is an insularity that has created a world where truth is based on suspicion, rumor and myths. Is there a way out if there is no hope? Told in brilliant, raw prose, this is a town that could be anywhere in the world.


Into the Beautiful North: A Novel
Urrea, Luis Alberto

All the men have left Tres Camarones for the United States, leaving its residents vulnerable to abuse from local bandidos. But after 19-year-old Nayeli watches The Magnificent Seven, she and her friends hatch a plan to take back their village.


Like the singing coming off the drums : love poems
Sanchez, Sonia, 1934-
Call Number: 811 S2115-10
Sanchez's steamy and lyrical collection also includes platonic love poems for Ella Fitzgerald, Tupac Shakur, and Gwendolyn Brooks.

Like water for chocolate : a novel in monthly installments, with recipes, romances, and home remedies
Esquivel, Laura, 1950-

Thwarted love, magic, family traditions and recipes are part of this best-selling lovely novel set in turn of the century Mexico.  As the youngest daughter of tyrannical Mama Elena, Tita cannot marry before her older sisters do. Tita and Pedro are madly in love, but Mama Elena has another plan--for Pedro to marry Rosaura, and Tita is to prepare the wedding dinner.


Lost Children Archive
Luiselli, Valeria

A family (mother, father, and their son and daughter) drive from New York to Arizona in search of the Apacheria, the land of the Apaches. On the radio, there is news of the immigration crisis at the southwestern border, and the plight of children being detained, or worse getting lost in the desert. This story of discovery is brilliantly written from unique perspectives. Valeria Luiselli was the recipient of the 2021 Dublin Literary Award.

 
 

Love after the riots
Herrera, Juan Felipe.
Call Number: 811 H565-1

An early book of poetry from the current Poet Laureate of the United States, which chronicles a short torrid love affair, melding it with artistic, literary, social allusions, and life in the barrio.


Make your home among strangers
Crucet, Jennine Capo.

In this award-winning debut novel, tough life-altering decisions face Lizet, daughter of Cuban immigrants, who is about to enter college, and leave her immediate family.  A hard-won opportunity for advancement in a new country is not necessarily the answer to all of life's questions.


The map of the sky : a novel
Palma, Felix J.
Call Number: F

When Horsell Common is invaded by strange ships from another world, Scotland Yard seeks out H.G. Wells, whose new novel The War of the Worlds bears an uncanny resemblance to recent occurrences. Did Wells know about the Martian invasion prior to its happening? In the second book of a planned trilogy, following up 2011's The Map of Time, Felix Palma spins a gripping tale of alien invasion and time travel.

Palma has won the following awards: Cadiz Latin American Story Award, 2003, for the short story "Los Arácnidos" ("The Arachnids"); Luis Berenguer Award for Novel, 2005, for Las Corrientes Oceánicas; Ateneo de Sevilla XL Prize, 2008, for El Mapa del Tiempo.  [Contemporary Authors Online 2012, Literature and Resource Center]

 


Men of maize
Asturias, Miguel Angel.
Call Number: 863 A859

This novel is considered to be the master work of Guatemalan novelist Miguel Angel Asturias, who was awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature. This experimental work is based on the Mayan people who believed corn was sacred. 


The musical brain and other stories
Aira, Cesar, 1949-

Elements of realism, magical realism and surrealism are found in the numerous novellas and short stories of César Aira. He is the master of the short take, weaving philsophical questions about existence and being with humor and magic. This collection of 20 short stories takes its title from one short story that deciphers the birth of a municipal library in the author's hometown of Coronel Pringles. Recommended for readers who like Jorge Luis Borges


Native country of the heart : a memoir
Moraga, Cherrie,
Call Number: 810.92 M827

Writer, editor, playwright, poet, essayist, feminist and lesbian activist, Chicana Cherrie Moraga presents a deeply felt autobiography. It is, in great part, a loving homage to her mother with whom she had a complicated and inspiring relationship. 


One Hundred Years of Solitude
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel, 1927-2014.
Call Number: Ed.f

This multi-layered story follows 100 years in the life of the Buendia family in the jungle settlement of Macondo. Translated from Spanish.


Other musics : new Latina poetry
Call Number: 811.08 O87-1

A collection of the poetic works of fifteen modern Latina poets.


Poems across the pavement
Rodriguez, Luis J., 1954-
Call Number: 811 R696 2014

The 25th anniversay edition of Luis J. Rodriguez's first published poetry collection,  when he was "a 35-year old unknown writer hungry for the power of words, metaphors, and images, for the purposeful agreements that keep people in life, in art, in the realms of meaning and connection."


The prince of Los Cocuyos : a Miami childhood
Blanco, Richard, 1968-
Call Number: 811 B6395B-1

The autobiography of the first Latino and openly gay presidential inaugural poet.  


Puro Chicanx writers of the 21st century
Cisneros, Sandra
Call Number: 810.9 C579

A compilation of writings that analyzes Puro Chicanx which is about Mexican ancestral heritage that might overlap with other Latinx cultures. Many topics are examined, from "rasquache to the refined."


Red April
Roncagliolo, Santiago.

Roncagliolo was the youngest recipient of the Alfaguara Prize for this political thriller about a murder in Peru, possibly by the brutal terrorist group the Shining Path, and the equally brutual reaction by the Fujimori government. While trying to take the just course of action, a district prosecutor is pulled into a society trapped in chaos and anarchy.


Reputations
Vasquez, Juan Gabriel, 1973-

Political cartoons are charged with commentary, but their artist has an advantage as a satirist, and may also have tremendous power to influence an entire country.  "The living legend," political cartoonist Javier Mallarino, has his conscience and position rattled by a young woman who forces him to examine his life and work.


Short stories by Latin American women : the magic and the real
Call Number: SS Ed.a

A fine selection of thirty-one women writers from fourteen Latin American countries. This collection brings awareness to writers whose works may not be well-known and deserve attention.


Silvina Ocampo
Ocampo, Silvina.
Call Number: 861 O15

The first English translation of Ocampo's poetry brings attention to the clear and lyrical work of this highly regarded Latino writer.


The sound of things falling
Vásquez, Juan Gabriel, 1973-

A man investigates the death of an acquaintance, and in the process explores the experiences of a generation of Colombians impacted by Escobar and the drug trade.


The story of my teeth
Luiselli, Valeria, 1983-

One of Mexico's exceptional new writers (Faces in the crowd) Luiselli has created a humorous and challenging novel which combines literary references with the story of Highway, a combination of fabulist and soothsayer, who claims to possess the teeth of various famous people.

 


This is how you lose her
Díaz, Junot, 1968-

Junot Diaz, known for two other books: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Drown continues the story of Yunior in this candid, funny, poignant set of short stories about the heartache between men and women as the result of the love/lust that fuels but rarely sustains relationships. Several stories are told in the first-person narrative, in Diaz's unique raw and chilling style which hits at the bone-marrow truth of people's lives.


Twenty love poems and a song of despair
Neruda, Pablo, 1904-1973.
Call Number: 861 N454-7 1993a
A beloved collection by the Nobel Prize-winning author. "You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips/and in your life my infinite dreams live." -Pablo Neruda

The underdogs
Azuela, Mariano, 1873-1952.
Call Number: Ed.a
This book takes a realistic and gritty look at a band of fighters during the Mexican Revolution.

Voices of time : a life in stories
Galeano, Eduardo, 1940-2015.
Call Number: 868 G152-1

Eduardo Galeano is best known for the trilogy Memory of Fire, which is a searing denunciation of colonialism throughout the Americas. Using poetic prose Galeano created 333 vignettes that should be read very carefully. All of them are beautiful but are loaded with political, social and ethical irony.


Wandering time : Western notebooks
Urrea, Luis Alberto.
Call Number: 810.92 U81-1

After his marriage falters, Urrea takes a long car ride, wandering cross-country from east to west, writing lyrically about the land, his life, and his past.


Why this world : a biography of Clarice Lispector
Moser, Benjamin.
Call Number: 869.3 L771Mo

Brazilian novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Clarice Lispector is well known for her innovative style of writing. Born in the Ukraine in 1920, she was brought to Brazil after World War I. Beautiful and brainy, her life was peripatetic and turbulent. This biography is based upon years of reserach and brings attention to a major writer.


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