National Hispanic Heritage month spans from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and recognizes the achievements and contributions of the Hispanic community here in the United States. Although National Hispanic Heritage month is over now, one way to support Hispanic-American academics and creators year round is to take the time to pick up a book written by a Hispanic author. Below is a list of eight works of literature written by Hispanic-American/Latino authors, with something for every type of reader to enjoy in any season.
“Mexican Gothic” is a mystery thriller set in an isolated, glamorous mansion in 1950s Mexico. We follow Noemí Taboada as an ominous letter from her cousin summons her to the isolated countryside, where she now resides with her husband, a mysterious Englishman. Creepy, atmospheric and full of twists and turns, “Mexican Gothic” is the perfect book to read in October for a dose of spooky energy.
“Of Women and Salt” is a beautifully written intergenerational story following the women in a Cuban family throughout their migration to the United States. For fans of Yaa Gyasi’s “Homegoing,” or the “Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, “Of Women and Salt” deals with motherhood, addiction, immigration and displacement through the vibrant backgrounds of Cuba and Miami.
This dark, emotional memoir expands on her own experiences in an abusive relationship. Examining psychological abuse, Machado brings awareness to society’s tendency to overlook and invalidate abuse within same-sex relationships.
This powerful memoir tells not only the story of Villavicenio’s experiences as an undocumented American, but also weaves in the experiences of other undocumented immigrants. The result is a work of nonfiction that breathes life into individuals often cast aside by American society as “strays” or faceless laborers. Villavicencio gives readers the mundanity, emotion, hardships and triumphs in the everyday lives of undocumented Americans, putting a person behind the character that is discussed so often in our society today.
This collection of short stories examines the realities of life as a woman and the violence inflicted on female bodies in the format of horror stories and magical realism. “Her Body and Other Parties” brilliantly paints a disturbing, yet necessary picture of society’s treatment of femininity and is sure to live in your mind long after finishing.
“The Dangers of Smoking in Bed” is another socially conscious collection of short stories laced with horror from beginning to end. Enríquez pulls no punches in this collection, with each story focusing on a different taboo or unspoken facet of human life. From obsessive women to fetishes to the dark parts of human history, Enriquez pushes readers to be engaged despite the uncomfortable. The result is a chilling account of social dilemmas set against the backdrop of contemporary Argentina, and an indispensable reading experience.
This work of young adult contemporary fiction is a story told entirely in verse, landing it in the category of poetry. Acevedo brings to life the story of Xiomara Batista, a young Harlem resident struggling to find her voice amid the crushing expectations of those around her. A powerful story of Xiomara stepping into her power, “The Poet X” is made even more special through its unique poetry format.
“The Crazy Bunch” chronicles one pivotal weekend for a group of friends coming of age in East Harlem, set in the midst of the rising hip-hop era. Vibrant and emotive, this poetry collection tells a story of rap and friendship and loss, expertly placing the same amount of gravity behind each.
Editor's Note: This article's headline has been updated with the correct number of featured books.