Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with Great Books

We’re in the midst of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th to October 15th), and I’ve found a few decent reading lists of authors of Hispanic and Latino heritage:

And here are a few that are on my list of favorites or to-reads:

  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

The magical story of Antonio Marez and his family’s curandera, who cures illness with herbs and fights witchcraft with magic as she helps Antonio struggle through morality and religion and face his identity. (P.S. Also a good pick for Banned Books Week)

  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Tells the story of Oscar Wao, an overweight hopeless romantic sci-fi nerd and the curse that haunts his family.

  • Y no se lo trago la tierra/And the Earth Did Not Devour Himby Tomas Rivera

A collection of narratives depicting the stories, memories, struggles and relationships of people in some way connected to the unnamed child narrator that opens the book.

  • Montano’s Malady by Enrique Vila-Matas

A wild journey through shifting narrative structures that peeks into the mind of a writer obsessed with literature, drifting between fiction and reality, suffering from what he calls “literature sickness”.

  • The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz

A collection of Octavio Paz’s essays about Mexican identity.

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carols Ruiz Zafon

A mystery/thriller involving an antiquarian book dealer’s son and the last copy of a mysterious book (talk about horror for nerds! love it.).

Anyone notice that there’s a serious lack of women writers in a lot of these lists?


  • The Youngest Doll by Rosario Ferre

A collection of short stories that uses the vivid brush of magical realism to portray the constricted lives of women.

  • Bitter Grounds by Sandra Benitez

A portrait of several generations of mothers and daughters in El Salvador.

  • The Weight of All Things by Sandra Benitez

A story of a boy who, in trying to find his mother, gets tangled up in the civil war that ravaged El Salvador.

  • Mexican Village by Josefina Niggli

Explores the nuances of  life in Hidalgo, Mexico.

  • Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr

Tells the story of an American couple that moves from San Francisco to rural Mexico to reopen their family mine. It is a story of returning and being a stranger in a land to which one is linked by blood.


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