25 Best Books by Hispanic Authors
It couldn’t be a more exciting time for Hispanic and Latinx authors. After years of (what seems like) only a few Latinx books finding their way into the mainstream—due in large part to the mostly white gatekeepers across the publishing industry—it feels like the tide has started to turn. Now, a new light is shining on these talented authors that haven’t been as widely recognized.
That’s not to say the publishing problem has been solved—only six percent of editors identify as Latinx/Latino/Mexican, according to the 2019 Diversity in Publishing Survey conducted by Lee & Low Books. So, yeah, it’s very much a work in progress. But in 2020 alone, Hispanic and Latinx authors have released some of the most talked about (not to mention award-winning) books, including Once I Was You by Maria Hinojosa, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, and Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. Latinx readers have made it even easier to find these authors through their dedicated Instagrams and YouTube channels of recommendations.
These are the kinds of books you’ll find on the list below. Trailblazing authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Paulo Coelho, and Gabriel García Márquez may not be here, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read their work—you absolutely should. But there are so many emerging Hispanic authors and newly-released Latinx books that are lesser known and should be on your radar, too.
From contemporary YA and romance, to magical fantasies, gripping memoirs, and vibrant poetry, these are 25 of the best books by Hispanic and Latinx authors to add to your reading list:
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Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America
Never Look Back
In one of the most anticipated books of 2020, author Lilliam Rivera retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice (also the subject of the Tony-winning musical “Hadestown”) from the perspective of two Afro-Latinx characters as they fight for each other and their lives.
Sabrina & Corina: Stories
Each of Us a Desert
YA author Mark Oshiro dips into fantasy in his new book, where protagonist Xochitl is on a fantastical (and fraught) journey through the desert as she searches for her truth and someone to share her heart with.
The Undocumented Americans
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s highly-personal and deeply moving memoir (just nominated for a 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction) weaves the stories from her own life with those of the undocumented people she’s met along the way.
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are currently working with Hulu to adapt Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s gothic-horror novel about a young socialite named Noemí who discovers the dark, violent secrets of a house in her family, The High Place.
Clap When You Land
Zoraida Córdova, author of the popular Brooklyn Bruja series, is back with an epic tale of love and revenge in a world that’s loosely based on the time of the Spanish Inquisition in the 1500s.
Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas
Salvadoran-American journalist Roberto Lovato meditates on his family’s history, gang life, and the immigration crisis in both El Salvador and the United States in his new poetic and gripping memoir.
In the Dream House: A Memoir
You Had Me at Hola
Fans of Jane the Virgin will love Alexis Daria’s latest romance novel, a sexy story that follows two telenovela stars who get to know each other off-set of the movie they’re working on after their first impression is less than ideal.
Shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction and Good Morning America’s first book club pick, Angie Cruz’s tender coming-of-age story is based on her own mother’s journey from the Dominican Republic’s countryside to Washington Heights, New York in the 1960s.
A newly-minted New York Times bestseller, Aiden Thomas’ debut YA novel Cemetery Boys follows Yadiel, a trans, Cuban-Mexican who is determined to prove himself a real brujo, or a witch, by summoning a ghost that ultimately proves difficult when Yadiel tries to get rid of him.
In her first adult novel in nearly 15 years, renowned Dominican-American poet and novelist Julia Alvarez tells the story of Antonia Vega—a writer and retired English professor in the throes of grief after her husband suddenly dies, her sister disappears, and she takes in a pregnant, undocumented teenager.
Love War Stories
From Julia de Burgos’ poetry to Victor Manuelle’s romantic salsa songs and good old warnings from our mothers, Ivelisse Rodriguez’s stunning short story collection explores the many ways in which Puerto Ricans learn to and practice love.
The Book of Lost Saints
The Shadowshaper series author Daniel José Older steps away from fantasy to explore the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s in this epic family story that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin’s novella (recently translated from Spanish) follows a dying woman named Amanda, and it is both a ghost story and a cautionary tale about love that will leave you feeling deeply unsettled.
The House of Broken Angels
Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest novel is brimming with gratitude and love for family, as Miguel Angel de La Cruz—also known as Big Angel—gathers his whole clan in the final days of his life for one last epic party.
Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s intimate book of poetry examines the relationship between femininity and body hair (the title translates to “hairy”), while also exploring identity, feminism, and the immigrant experience. Her poems are also featured in the BreakBeats anthology, LatinNext.
Lost Children Archive
Tell Me How It Ends author Valeria Luiselli is back with a book about a family setting out on a road trip from New York to Apacheria in Arizona, a region once inhabited by the Apaches. But the trip takes a turn as they near their destination and get closer to an “immigration crisis” on the border.
Juli Delgado Lopera’s lush, bilingual book centers on young Francisca’s struggle to come to terms with her gender identity amid her migration from Bogotá, Colombia to Miami.
Gods of Tango author Carolina De Robertis follows the lives of five queer women living in Uruguay during an era of the country’s 12-year military dictatorship in Cantoras—stories that are ultimately a celebration of resistance.
A Long Petal of the Sea
Famed Chilean journalist and author Isabel Allende’s A Long Petal of the Sea is compelling historical fiction that follows two young people across time and continents as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.
Movies (And Other Things)
This collection of essays from New York Times best-selling author and Ringer writer Shea Serrano is exactly how it sounds: A list of questions and answers about the movies that have had a long-lasting impact, from Mean Streets and Jurassic Park to Mean Girls and Selena.
It Is Wood, It Is Stone
A 2020 debut, Gabriella Burnham writes about three women over the course of a year in São Paulo, Brazil—and the effects of their relationships though race, privilege, and sexuality.
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