September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, highlighting the culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino people.
The mid-month date is significant because it’s the independence day of five Latin American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Several other nations, including Mexico, mark their independence this month. The celebration runs through October 12, Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day in the U.S.)
The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are often used interchangeably. Though they have slightly different meanings, people self-identify with the term they prefer. “Hispanic” came into wide use in the 1960s and 1970s, and originally referred to native Spanish speakers, and those from Spanish-speaking nations, including Spain, Mexico, Central America and most of South America.
Later, “Latino” and its feminine form, “Latina,” became popular with those who trace their heritage to Latin America, which includes Mexico, Central America and Spanish-speaking South American countries. A gender neutral form, “Latinx” is most often used by younger members of the community.
The Pew Research Center estimates that more 60 million Hispanics and Latinos live in the United States, and make up about 18 percent of the population.
The community’s cultural traditions and experiences, as well as strong family ties, are reflected in the work of Hispanic/Latino authors. The following list includes books by authors living in the United States, and also translated works by authors living in Spanish-speaking countries.
Click the links to learn more about each title. Books followed by H or OL are part of our digital collections and available through Hoopla or Overdrive/Libby. Those with a P are available in print (though many of the digital titles can also be located in print or audio formats). Spanish-language translations may also be available. Please contact the Adult Services desk for more information.
Love In the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (OL)
We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez (H)
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (OL)
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (OL)
Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (P)
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia (OL)
Suncatcher by Jose Pimienta (P)
The Black Jersey by Jorge Zepada Patterson (P)
It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham (P)
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (OL)
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (OL)
Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher (P)
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (OL)
Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (P)
The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante (P)
Letters From Cuba by Ruth Behar (OL)
Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon (OL)
City of Clowns by Daniel Alarcon and Sheila Alvarado (P)
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez (OL)
The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez (OL)
Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat (H)
Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Pena (OL)
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Ocscar Hijuelos (H)
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (OL)
Drown by Junot Diaz (P)
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (P)
Sudden Death by Alvardo Enrique (P)
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (P)
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (P)
The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (P)
Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (OL)
The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (P)
The Book of Emma Reyes by Emma Reyes (P)
Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas (P)
Undocumented by Dan-el Padilla Peralta (P)
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (P)
American Poison by Eduardo Porter (P)