This Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic people who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. How, you ask? By reading and rereading books by remarkable Hispanic authors and recommending them to everyone we know.
Join us in celebration of this special month by cracking open one of the books below.
This bestselling coming-of-age classic should live on the bookshelves of all readers across the world. The House on Mango Street tells the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, trying to find her place in all-too-real world that isn’t kind to young girls of color. This compelling book is a quick read, but one you will never forget.
Erika L. Sánchez
When Julia’s sister, Olga, dies after a tragic accident on the streets of Chicago, Julia is left to piece together the mysteries surrounding her death. Though Olga was always considered to be the perfect child, Julia discovers that she, too, had some secrets – ones that would pull apart her Mexican-American family. With the help of her loved ones, Julia is determined to uncover her sister’s story and learn, through her death, what it means to live.
Ingrid Rojas Contreras
A new diverse voice in the literary world, Ingrid Rojas Contreras tells a mesmerizing tale in this debut. Set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar’s violent reign and inspired by Ingrid’s own life, this book is told through the alternating perspectives of Chula, a wealthy seven-year-old girl who’s just beginning to realize the world around her, and Petrona, a poverty-stricken young maid working for Chula’s family. The two coming-of-age stories are very different, but linked in a way that’s absolutely breathtaking.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This masterpiece is nothing short of stunning. A true classic and the basis for modern magical realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love. With every page, Gabriel Garcia Marquez will astonish you and keep you under his spell.
It wasn’t terribly surprising to those who had read Peruvian-American author Daniel Alarcón’s 2017 collection of stories, The King Is Always Above the People, that it was longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for fiction. The people featured in this collection bring to light the Latin American experience in a way that is wholly original, empathetic – and daring.
Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Juan Gabriel Vasquez’s 2016 novel, Reputations, showcases the Colombian author once again doing what he does best. Vasquez explores the culture, history, and politics of Colombia through an interesting, relatable protagonist’s eyes, this time with dialed-in political cartoonist Javier Mallarino. As ever, the beauty of Vasquez’s writing doesn’t come at the cost of the pace of the story.
“Orchestral and divine, resounding among the trees / like a language full of wars and songs.” To read Pablo Neruda is to fall in love with his work. The Chilean writer is a romantic through and through, and his writing – in this edition partnered with its original Spanish version – will move and inspire you all at once. This is the quintessential Neruda volume to keep on your nightstand.
In this YA classic, Julia Alvarez, author of the beloved How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, turns her attention to life in the Dominican Republic under the repressive Trujilo regime. Alvarez draws from her own life in this moving tale of a girl and her mother who are forced into hiding after her father and uncle are arrested for revolutionary activities. Readers will be captivated by the novel’s finely wrought depictions of the everyday and extraordinary challenges of its tween heroine.
Isabel Allende’s debut novel is a contemporary classic. Allende weaves a spellbinding family saga set in an unnamed South American country, reminiscent of her native Chile under the repressive Pinochet regime. This sprawling, yet intimate tale with its masterful combination of both magic realism and journalistic realism, stays with the reader long after she’s closed its pages.
Jorge Luis Borges
There is no better guide to Argentina than its most celebrated writer, Jorge Luis Borges. In this collection of essays, poems, and stories, Borges brings the land of gauchos and tango to life. Be sure to put a copy in your carry-on bag before you head to Buenos Aires.