The best Latinx books, according to Latinx writers

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Earlier this month, Rigoberto González (NBC News) shared the best Latino books, chosen by Latino writers, including poetry collections, memoirs, and novels by Angie Cruz, Jennine Capó Crucet, Carmen Maria Machado, and more. See NBC News for full article and related links. I have included books with Caribbean-related themes, authors, and/or illustrators below.

[. . .] You might have come across some of these suggestions already, like a much talked-about novel by Dominican American writer Angie Cruz. Others promise to be pleasant surprises, like a poetry collection by Los Angeles poet Rocío Carlos, who made this list twice. And what about a touching picture book or an absorbing young adult novel? Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find something for every taste through the following recommendations. [. . .]

  1. Love War Stories” by Ivelisse Rodríguez

Love War Stories” was a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner award in 2018 and introduces readers to the heartbreaking and illuminating stories of Puerto Rican girls and women. An important collection, both funny and poignant, Ivelisse Rodríguez‘s book is guaranteed to keep you turning pages.

Recommended by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of “Sabrina & Corina: Stories,” finalist for the National Book Award.

  1. Don’t Date Rosa Santos” by Nina Moreno

My recommendation for this holiday season is the young adult novel “Don’t Date Rosa Santos” by Nina Moreno. But don’t let the fact that it was written for teens keep you from giving it to the adults on your list.

This Cuban-American novel has all the best aspects of a rom-com: humor, misunderstandings, romance with an attractive tattooed boy. And Moreno combines those with important themes like family, grief and loss — all wrapped in rich Latinx culture and a magical South Florida setting. [. . .]

Recommended by Ann Dávila Cardinal, author of young adult novels “Five Midnights” and the forthcoming “Category Five.”

  1. Ordinary Girls: A Memoir” by Jaquira Diaz

I am definitely gifting Jaquira Diaz’s superb memoir “Ordinary Girls” because, even though it is a painful read, it is illuminating and inspiring.

It takes courage to write about your deepest, most brutally painful truths, to expose your family’s history of violence and substance abuse, dysfunction and mental illness, but Diaz takes us on her journey. Through the darkness of her girlhood to the bright promise of her womanhood, Diaz shows us what is possible and what we are capable of surviving.

Recommended by Reyna Grande, author of the memoirs “The Distance Between Us” and A Dream Called Home.”

  1. My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education” by Jennine Capó Crucet

Capó Crucet‘s talents and intellect hold up her biting humor and crushing critiques. She’s a genuine truth teller and this collection of essays should be on every serious reader’s bookshelf.

  1. Dominicana: A Novel” by Angie Cruz

Angie Cruz‘s “Dominicana” is a novel about immigration from the island to New York City.

Finally, we get to read a searing first-hand account of a Dominican woman who is not only imprisoned in the patriarchy of culture but also in the inequality of the capitalist U.S. in the 1960s. [. . .]

  1. In the Dream House: A Memoir” by Carmen Maria Machado

I am going to gift and suggest that everyone immediately read “In the Dream House” by Carmen Maria Machado.

This is easily one of the best memoirs of 2019, if not the best. Machado’s subversive storytelling takes center stage as she examines her descent, as a queer woman, into an abusive relationship. Most memorably — along with her threading of popular culture and folklore — is Machado’s exploration of the gray areas of abuse, the signs of intimate partner violence that are often unseen, but which are felt. I read it in one night: highly recommend.

Recommended by Diana Marie Delgado, author of “Tracing the Horse.”

For full article, see

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