Check out our recommendations for adult books by Hispanic authors and illustrators.
National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place every year from September 15th to October 15th, and is meant to celebrate the lives and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. All month, we’ll be sharing lists of some of our favorite work from Hispanic authors, illustrators and filmmakers that you can check out with your Plano Public Library card. Check back each week to see selections for all ages.
Librarian Andrea selected some of her favorite adult books by Latinx and Hispanic authors, as well as some that are sitting in the to-be-read pile.
Some of these are long-time favorites, but many of them are more recent titles that came up while researching for these blog posts. In addition to print and e-materials, we highlighted some of the online resources we have that can connect you with more Latinx and Hispanic content from the United States and around the world, so we’re sharing information on Kanopy and Press Reader below.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz | Print Book | Spanish Print Book | CD Book | eBook | Spanish eBook | eAudiobook (narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda) | eAudiobook (narrated by Jonathan Davis)
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of the de León family, especially the son Oscar, and the curse they believe follows them from their native Dominican Republic . Oscar is a hopeless romantic who escapes his difficult life by reading sci-fi and fantasy, further setting himself apart from his community and sometimes giving him an unrealistic view of the world around him. This is a story about intergenerational trauma and tragedy, and the ways we seek healing in a difficult life, but there are also moments of laughter and irony woven throughout.
This classic of Chicana literature tells stories of Esparanza’s life growing up on Mango Street. She makes friends, argues with her family, and realizes how she wants to fit into the world and who she wants to be. As she grows older, Esperanza learns more about how complex families and relationships can become. Told in short vignettes, this portrait of a young woman’s life has influenced students and authors since its publication.
This debut collection of short stories follows Latina women in and around Denver, Colorado as they work through challenges, changes, and the unique circumstances of their lives. This National Book Award finalist highlights the way our earliest experiences can shape us and how we can escape our pasts in order to find something new and fulfilling.
Many stories about immigration focus on adults looking for a better life. Cruz’s story follows Ana, who marries at 15 and moves with her husband to the United States so that she might one day help her own family immigrate. But she finds New York cold and lonely, and it is only when her husband travels back to the Dominican Republic that she is able to exercise some freedom and see the life she might lead. Ana must decide how much of herself and her freedom she is willing to give up to provide for the family she left behind.
Machado’s memoir of an abusive relationship and the lasting effects she experienced garnered attention not only for its subject matter, but for the form the book takes. The titular Dream House is both a physical and emotional space, and in each chapter she discusses her experiences there from a different perspective and with different genre styles. Machado exposes the ways someone like her, as a woman in a relationship with another woman, can struggle to define her experiences and be doubted as a victim.
My Time Among the Whites by Jennine Capó Crucet | Print Book
This book of essays chronicles Crucet’s experiences as a child of Cuban refugees adjusting to a life in a country that is both deeply familiar and entirely foreign. Crucet’s experiences in Southern Florida and beyond, especially as she enters academia, show the contrast between what her family believed and what they experienced in coming to the US.
Real Women Have Curves | DVD
This coming of age story has many universal themes—not fitting in with your community, difficulty with your parents, struggling with your body—but it also emphasizes the experience of many Hispanic kids and their experiences navigating mostly white schools and confusing admissions processes. Ana struggles to respect the sacrifices her parents have made while searching for something different for herself, a common theme in stories about the children of immigrants.
It is hard to live in Texas without knowing anything about Selena Quintanilla, the famed Tejano music star who suffered a tragic death. Her legacy lives on in many ways, from her music to a makeup collection and of course, this 1997 film. A Netflix series based on her life is premiering in December, so there’s enough time to watch this film in preparation.
Kanopy is an online streaming service that includes documentaries, international films, moves from smaller studios, and even educational content like The Great Courses. For Hispanic Heritage Month, they’ve put together a Hispanic American collection to highlight films created by and starring Latinx creators. A Kanopy account is free with your Plano library card, and you can click here to find out more and get started.
Pressreader provides access to thousands of magazines and newspapers from around the world. This includes international Spanish newspapers and magazines as well as Spanish publications from the United States. Pressreader is free with your Plano library card, and you can read our recent blog post to learn how to get started.
Be sure to check out our Hispanic Heritage Month blog posts throughout the next month to see book lists for all ages.