Hispanic & Latinx American Literature

From September 15 to October 15, we honor the history, diversity, and talent of the Hispanic and Latinx American communities. You can use this collection to choose texts that explore the literary contributions of Latinx and Hispanic authors.

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory

Published in 2007 by Delacorte Press, A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon’s successful Outlander series. Its story encompasses elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure, science fiction, and fantasy. It debuted at #1 on The New York Times hardcover fiction best-seller list of 2005 and won the Quill Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror. Plot Summary The novel begins in March 1773 in North Carolina, on Fraser’s Ridge, the colony led... Read A Breath of Snow and Ashes Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction

Across a Hundred Mountains is a 2006 novel by Reyna Grande. It won the American Book Award. The novel tells the story of two women, Adelina and Juana. Every few pages, the novel alternates between each woman’s story. Adelina is an adult working at a woman’s shelter in Los Angeles and has devoted her life to searching for her father, who went missing many years ago. At the beginning of the novel, Adelina finally finds... Read Across A Hundred Mountains Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Language, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: ImmigrationTags LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism

A Cup of Water Under My Bed is Daisy Hernández’s 2014 coming-of-age story that centers the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality. The book received Lambda Literary’s Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award in 2015. Hernández was also awarded the IPPY Award (Independent Publisher Book Award) for best coming-of-age memoir, and the book was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award. This memoir highlights the complicated dynamics that shape race, class, gender, and sexual... Read A Cup of Water Under My Bed Summary


Publication year 1999Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: AnimalsTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death, Animals, Religion / Spirituality, Relationships, Latin American Literature

Publication year 1998Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Gender / Feminism, Immigration / Refugee, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Esmeralda’s family relocates from Puerto Rico to Brooklyn in 1961, when Esmeralda is 13 years old. On the cusp of womanhood, Esmeralda receives warnings from her family members, and especially her mother, Mami, to watch out for the many algos or dangers lurking in the city. Struggling to adjust to city life in Brooklyn, Esmeralda misses Puerto Rico, and she dreams of the day when she will return. Initially put into remedial classes because she... Read Almost a Woman Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: FateTags Historical Fiction, Gender / Feminism, Class, Immigration / Refugee, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, Fiction

American Dirt is a work of fiction by Jeanine Cummins published in 2020 by MacMillan Press. This guide refers to the first US edition. The controversial, cross-genre novel combines elements of a commercial thriller, literary fiction, suspense, and romance. The title refers to the land comprising the geopolitical entity that is the United States of America, and to the contempt undocumented migrants face both before and after crossing the US-Mexico border. While many critics initially... Read American Dirt Summary


Publication year 1993Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Society: Community, Identity: RaceTags Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Race / Racism, Class, History: U.S., American Literature

Publication year 1989Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Natural Disaster

Isabel Allende’s “And of Clay Are We Created” is the final piece in her short story collection The Stories of Eva Luna. The collection, originally published in 1989 and printed in English in 1991, chronicles the tales that the writer Eva Luna tells her lover Rolf Carlé as they rest in bed. Allende fashions Eva Luna after Scheherazade, a key character in the framing narrative for the multi-tale Middle Eastern epic A Thousand and One... Read And of Clay Are We Created Summary


Publication year 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil

And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Chicano-American author Tomás Rivera was originally published as a Spanish and English bilingual edition in 1971, translated into English by Herminio Ríos. Evangelina Vigil-Piñón’s translation, considered the definitive one, came out in 1988. The book was awarded the Quinto Sol Prize for literature and was adapted into a film. Born in Texas, Rivera,was himself the son of Mexican migrant farm workers, and worked on farms as a... Read And The Earth Did Not Devour Him Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure

An Echo in the Bone (2009) is the seventh novel in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Combining elements of the historical fiction, adventure, fantasy, and romance genres, the series follows the adventures of Claire Randall, a WWII battle nurse who accidentally time travels to 18th-century Scotland and falls in love with Jamie Fraser, a Highland warrior. Over the course of 10 planned novels, Gabaldon follows Claire, Jamie, and their family as they navigate fate... Read An Echo in the Bone Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Equality, Society: NationTags Social Justice, Race / Racism

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ

Mark Oshiro’s 2018 debut novel Anger Is a Gift is a work of contemporary fiction for young adults exploring the realities of police brutality and racist oppression people of color experience in America. This study guide uses the 2018 edition published by Tor (ISBN: 978-1-250-16702-6). Oshiro is a queer author of color, and this novel seeks to highlight the racial divide in America. He shows through this book that there is no universal American experience... Read Anger Is a Gift Summary


Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Identity: Race, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Family, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed

Publication year 1993Genre Novel, Fiction

Sandra Benitez’s A Place Where the Sea Remembers was originally published in 1993 and won the 1994 Minnesota Book Award. Benitez grew up in Mexico, El Salvador, and Missouri, and she currently lives in Minnesota. Her novel is set in the small seaside town of Santiago, Mexico, and focuses on the lives of the town’s residents. A Place Where the Sea Remembers falls into the genre known as magical realism, a narrative strategy employed by... Read A Place Where the Sea Remembers Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: FamilyTags Crime / Legal

A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath (2004) is a true-crime story and memoir by Jeanine Cummins. The book recounts the violent rape and murder of two young women, Julie and Robin Kerry, the author’s cousins, and focuses on the aftermath for their families. Tom Cummins, their cousin who is present during the crimes, is thrown off a bridge into the Mississippi River with the two women but survives. Innocent, he... Read A Rip in Heaven Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Relationships, Bullying, Parenting, American Literature

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is a young adult fiction novel published in 2012. The novel won a Lambda Literary Award, a Pura Belpre Award, and a Stonewall Book Award. It was also named a Printz Honor Book. Told from a first-person point of view, the book is a work of realistic fiction set in El Paso, Texas, in the late 1980s.Plot SummaryAristotle “Ari” Mendoza is the... Read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: RaceTags Romance, LGBTQ

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Publication year 1962Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) is the best-known Mexican representative of the Latin American Boom literary movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Alongside South America contemporaries like Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Julio Cortázar, Fuentes challenged the conventions and expectations of traditional Latin American literature. The Boom generation gained unprecedented popularity in Western Europe and, from there, became globally renowned. The trend is most often characterized by experimental forms and politically engaged content.Born in Panama... Read Aura Summary


Publication year 1968Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Language, Society: ClassTags Magical Realism, Poverty, Latin American Literature

Revered Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez first published “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”—a work of magical realism—in 1968. Gregory Rabassa translated the short story into English in 1971, and all quotes in this guide refer to this edition.The story begins as a man named Pelayo kills crabs that heavy rains have washed into his house. In the muddy yard, Pelayo finds that something else has also washed up: an old man who cannot... Read A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings Summary


Publication year 1952Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 1983Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: ClassTags Magical Realism, Classic Fiction, Arts / Culture, Business / Economics, Class, Latin American Literature, Post Modernism

Publication year 1971Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Immigration, Society: ClassTags Immigration / Refugee, Race / Racism

Barrio Boy is a memoir by Ernesto Galarza that narrates the author’s journey from a small village in Mexico to a barrio in the United States. Considered a founding text in ethnic studies, the book was originally published in 1971 and was reissued as a 40th anniversary edition in 2011. Barrio Boy follows the author from his birth in the small town of Jalcocotán in 1905 up until high school. Galarza, who went on to... Read Barrio Boy Summary


Publication year 1993Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: The Past, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Latin American Literature, LGBTQ

The autobiography of Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls, details his life as a gay man under Fidel Castro’s regime and the consequences of his dissidence. It was published posthumously in 1993. Immediately named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, it has since been adapted into a movie and, later, an opera. Before Night Falls tells the story of Arenas’s life growing up in a... Read Before Night Falls Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags American Literature

When Julia Alvarez’s Before We Were Free (2002) begins, the life of Anita de la Torre, an 11-year-old girl in the Dominican Republic, is about to change forever. The novel investigates themes of family, government corruption, superstition, and the power of the written word, all set against the backdrop of the months before and after the assassination of a brutal dictator, Rafael Trujillo. This study guide uses the 2007 Laurel Leaf Reprint Edition.Plot SummaryDuring the... Read Before We Were Free Summary


Publication year 1972Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Bless Me, Ultima is a novel by American author Rudolfo Anaya (1937-2020). Published in 1972 by independent Chicanx publishing house TQS Publications, it is one of the first literary accounts of Chicanx culture to attain widespread acclaim in the United States. The novel is a semi-autobiographical account based on Ayana’s experience of coming of age in post-World War II New Mexico. Anaya explores themes of the Multiplicity within Chicanx Identity, Catholicism, Innocence Versus the Power... Read Bless Me, Ultima Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Blindness, the 1995 book by Portuguese author José Saramago, tells the story of a society that’s been struck by a virulent epidemic of blindness. This postmodern, apocalyptic novel was originally written in Portuguese, and was translated into English by Giovanni Pontiero with additional help from Margaret Jull Costa. When Saramago won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, Blindness was listed as one of his qualifying works.Plot SummaryThe plot of Blindness follows the onset—and the... Read Blindness Summary


Publication year 1932Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: MarriageTags Play: Tragedy, Play: Drama, Latin American Literature, Drama / Tragedy, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Blood Wedding, a Spanish rural tragedy, was written by Federico Garcia Lorca in 1932 while he was director of the travelling theater company Teatro Universitario La Barraca. The play was first performed at Teatro Beatriz in Madrid in 1933 under the title Bodas de Sangre. It ran briefly in America on Broadway in 1935, where it was retitled Bitter Oleander. It was not well received; the passions and folkloric culture in the play were too... Read Blood Wedding Summary


Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age

Bodega Dreams tells the story of Chino, a young man in Spanish Harlem who crosses paths with the legendary Willie Bodega, who is equal parts gangster, activist and dreamer. As Chino is drawn further into Bodega’s world, he becomes increasingly connected with el barrio’s shady underbelly and begins to contemplate the future of the neighborhood.Book I introduces us to Chino (Julio), Sapo (Enrique) and Blanca (Nancy) as junior high students. Chino understands that to have... Read Bodega Dreams Summary


Publication year 1987Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionTags Creative Nonfiction

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, by Gloria Anzaldúa, presents the U.S.-Mexico border as a space ripe for sociocultural, psychological, and historical deconstruction. Speaking from her own experiences growing up in South Texas, Anzaldúa redefines the boundaries between practice and theory, personal history and cultural critique, poetry and prose. Writing in both Spanish and English (and omitting translations at times), Anzaldúa writes as a Chicana, in the Chicano language, envisioning a new consciousness borne out of... Read Borderlands La Frontera Summary


Publication year 1960Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Values/Ideas: FameTags Magical Realism, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2001Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family

Breaking Through, an autobiography by Francisco Jimenez, is a work of juvenile literature that was published in 2001. The book records the childhood experiences of the author as he struggles to become familiar with American culture, and has been awarded a number of prizes, including The Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature and the Pura Belpre Honor Award.The story commences with a description of the then 4-year-old author, his parents, and his older... Read Breaking Through Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Romance, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Disability

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Gender / Feminism, History: U.S., Incarceration, Internet Culture / Social Media, Journalism, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Politics / Government, Psychology, Relationships, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Crime / Legal

Publication year 2006Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Family, Society: ImmigrationTags LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth

Cajas de Carton, the English title of which is The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child is a collection of autobiographical short stories by writer Francisco Jimenez, who was born in Jalisco, Mexico and crossed the US-Mexico border into the United States as a boy. Jimenez writes about his experience living and working in labor camps and tent cities with his family, and the many long years of intermittent schooling and constant... Read Cajas de Carton (The Circuit) Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Relationships: Family, Identity: LanguageTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: GenderTags LGBTQ, Fantasy, Grief / Death, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Diversity, Religion / Spirituality, Gender / Feminism, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 1981Genre Novella, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a 1981 novella by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Told in non-chronological order and in journalistic fashion by an unnamed narrator, it pieces together the events leading up to and after the murder of Santiago Nasar by Pedro and Pablo Vicario. The novella has been adapted several times as a film and also as a Broadway musical.This guide uses the 2014 Penguin Books edition, translated by Gregory Rabassa.Content Warning:... Read Chronicle of a Death Foretold Summary


Publication year 1542Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Society: War, Society: Nation, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags History: World, Latin American Literature, Christian literature, Creative Nonfiction, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Race / Racism, Renaissance

The Chronicle of the Narváez Expedition by Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was originally written in 1542, with a reprint in 1555. The chronicle follows Cabeza de Vaca’s memories of his survival after the expedition (led by Pánfilo de Narváez) failed and broke apart, and his subsequent peregrinations through the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. His chronicle stands as an important primary document of the age of the conquistadores. Of particular importance are Cabeza... Read Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Realistic Fiction

Isabel Allende’s novel City of the Beasts tells the story of Alex Cold, a fifteen-year-old boy from California who accompanies his journalist grandmother on a life-altering journey through the Amazon.  The narrative opens with Alex at home in California, angry and frightened over the illness of his mother, who is undergoing cancer treatment. When his mother gets a chance at receiving a promising new treatment in Texas, Alex’s parents send him to stay with his paternal grandmother, the adventurer... Read City of the Beasts Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: FamilyTags Realistic Fiction

Publication year 1964Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Literature, Natural World: PlaceTags Spanish Literature, Fantasy

Publication year 1583Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Free verse, Allegory / Fable / Parable

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Identity: FemininityTags Latin American Literature, Historical Fiction, Love / Sexuality

Daughter of Fortune, first published in Spanish in 1998 (Hija de la fortuna), is the fifth novel by celebrated Latin American writer Isabel Allende. The winner of multiple awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Chile’s National Literature Prize, Allende created this work of historical fiction, in part, to explore the impact of feminism on her own life. Daughter of Fortune tells the story of a young woman, Eliza Sommers, and her odyssey of... Read Daughter Of Fortune Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Grief / Death, Relationships, Depression / Suicide, Latin American Literature, Surrealism

Daytripper is a graphic novel written and illustrated by comic book artists Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá. Originally published in 2010 as a comic book series by Vertigo, the collected series was published as a completed book in 2011. Daytripper won the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series. Bá has also worked on popular comic series such as Umbrella Academy and Casanova. Both Moon and Bá are twins, and they sometimes refer to themselves... Read Daytripper Summary


Publication year 1970Genre Short Story, Fiction

Gabriel García Márquez’s 1970 short story “Death Constant Beyond Love” creates an overarching mood of loneliness and repetition to think through the experience of dying. Senator Onésimo Sanchez, the story’s protagonist, travels on his routine reelection campaign knowing that he has “six months and eleven days to go before his death” (Paragraph 1).In Rosal del Virrey, “an illusory village” in the desert but with a distant ocean view, he meets Laura Farina. The narrator calls... Read Death Constant Beyond Love Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders is a 2005 thriller by American novelist, poet, and essayist Alicia Gaspar de Alba. The novel takes place in 1998 when Juárez, Mexico is experiencing a spate of brutal killings of poor young women and girls, mostly factory workers. The protagonist, Ivon Villa, is a women’s studies professor from Los Angeles who returns to her hometown of El Paso, Texas—just across the border from Juárez—to adopt a baby. When the... Read Desert Blood Summary


Publication year 1844Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Classic Fiction

José Zorrilla y Moral (1817-1893), was a poet, dramatist, and major figure of the nationalist wing of the Spanish Romantic movement. He was born in Valladolid, Spain and educated at the Real Seminario de Nobles, a Jesuit school, and later at the universities of Toledo and Valladolid. Though Zorrilla’s father hoped his son would become a lawyer, Zorrilla left his studies and went to Madrid to pursue a career as a poet. In 1837, he... Read Don Juan Tenorio Summary


Publication year 1967Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Race / Racism

Down These Mean Streets is a 1967 memoir written by Piri Thomas detailing his late childhood through young adulthood. Piri is the eldest son of two Puerto Rican immigrants living in the New York City area with his family. He spends his childhood in the Puerto Rican section of Harlem, though his family later moves to the Italian-American section of Harlem, where Piri gets in fights with the Italian-American kids. One of these fights leads... Read Down These Mean Streets Summary


Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Gender, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Marriage, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, History: European, Health / Medicine

Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Identity: Race, Relationships: Mothers, Society: ImmigrationTags Historical Fiction, Latin American Literature, Magical Realism

Dreaming in Cuban is Cuban American author Cristina García’s first novel. It was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1992 and garnered positive reviews from readers and critics alike. A multi-generational family saga that shifts back and forth between the experiences and eras of multiple narrators, Dreaming in Cuban explores themes of immigration and exile, family dynamics, political ideology, religion, and the impact of the Cuban Revolution on Cubans and Cuban Americans. Known... Read Dreaming in Cuban Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Disability, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Gender, Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Fathers, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Education, Society: Immigration, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness, Disability, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: MusicTags Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

Echo is a young-adult novel about the power of music to unite individuals across time, and even save lives: the wide-reaching novel follows an enchanted harmonica to 1933 in Germany, 1934 in Pennsylvania, and 1942 in California, before uniting the characters we meet along the way at Carnegie Hall in 1951. Covering the rise of Nazism in Germany, the tail end of the Great Depression in the United States, and the beginning of U.S. involvement... Read Echo Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Realistic Fiction, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 1991Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Immigration, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Romance, Philosophy, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1981Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: RaceTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2015Genre Memoir in Verse, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Language, Society: WarTags History: World, Latin American Literature, Cold War

Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Romance, Latin American Literature

First published in Spanish in 1987, Eva Luna is a novel written by celebrated Chilean writer Isabel Allende and later translated into English by Margaret Sayers Peden the following year. The story is set in an unnamed South American country believed to be an amalgamation of Chile and Venezuela. The eponymous Eva Luna narrates the epic story of her life against a backdrop inspired by the sociopolitical changes in South America from the mid-1940s to... Read Eva Luna Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: MothersTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Psychological Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Magical Realism, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 2017Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: Flora/plants, Relationships: FriendshipTags Free verse, American Literature, Love / Sexuality, Science / Nature, LGBTQ

Publication year 1618Genre Play, FictionTags Classic Fiction

Fuenteovejuna (or Fuente Ovejuna) by Lope de Vega, first published in 1619, takes place and is based on true events that occurred in Spain in 1476. The play opens in Amalgro, where Commander Don Fernán Gómez de Guzmán is meeting with Grand Master Don Rodrigo Téllez Girón to push him to back King Alfonso, rather than Ferdinand and Isabella, in the battle for Spain and take Ciudad Real. Guzmánpledges his soldiers and tells Girón that... Read Fuenteovejuna Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Relationships: Family, Identity: FemininityTags Romance, Sports, Race / Racism, Gender / Feminism, Class, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: FamilyTags LGBTQ, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (2014) is a young adult fiction novel by Southern Californian writer Isabel Quintero. It is a bildungsroman following Gabi’s transition to adulthood, her evolution as a writer, and her growing acceptance of herself. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces is Quintero’s first novel and earned various awards for young adult readers, including the California Book Award (2015 Gold Medal) and the William C. Morris Award for YA Debut Novel. This summary... Read Gabi, a Girl in Pieces Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Romance

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: FemininityTags Historical Fiction, WWII / World War II, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, American Revolution

Publication year 2000Genre Book, NonfictionTags History: U.S.

Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America (2000, revised 2011), authored by Juan Gonzalez, is a comprehensive account of the intersection of Latin-American history with United States history. Immigration is one of the biggest issues facing America, and the debate over immigration reform has suffered from relentless propaganda, mythologizing, and stereotyping, resulting in much fear, anxiety, and anger. Gonzalez seeks to reveal the story hidden behind many of these stereotypes as he explores... Read Harvest Of Empire Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Short Story Collection, Fiction

Her Body and Other Parties is a short story collection published in October of 2017 by debut author Carmen Maria Machado. The collection, which moves between the genres of fantasy, horror, and satire, was shortlisted for the 2017 National Book Award Fiction Prize and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. It won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Shirley Jackson Award, the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize, and the Bard Fiction... Read Her Body and Other Parties Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Siblings, Identity: Race, Society: ImmigrationTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents is Julia Alvarez’s debut novel and was influenced by her experiences as a young girl living in the Dominican Republic. While the novel’s Garcia girls were born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to New York, Alvarez was born in New York and immigrated to the Dominican Republic. Like other Alvarez novels, this book explores the tensions and difficulties that immigrants experience throughout their lives. It also provides... Read How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Summary


Publication year 1987Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Identity: GenderTags Sociology, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2013Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: AnimalsTags Gender / Feminism

Publication year 1981Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Immigration / Refugee

Richard Rodriguez (b. July 31, 1944) is a prominent public intellectual, author, and essayist whose writing is especially concerned with education, minority identity, and language. He earned a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. from Columbia University, and studied at the doctoral level at the University of California, Berkeley. In his memoir, Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), Rodriguez explores how his education shaped him. Across a prologue and six chapters... Read Hunger of Memory Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionTags Realistic Fiction

Published in 2017, Erika L. Sánchez’s first novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is a young adult coming-of-age story set in contemporary Chicago. The story is told from the perspective of 15-year-old Julia Reyes as she navigates her grief and struggles with mental health, her familial relationships, and cultural expectations when her older sister Olga unexpectedly dies. The book has won several awards, including the Thomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in... Read I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Summary


Publication year 1977Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Lyric Poem, Philosophy, Science / Nature, Latin American Literature, Animals

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Realistic Fiction, Mythology, Immigration / Refugee, Social Justice, Politics / Government, Relationships, American Literature, Latin American Literature

Publication year 1969Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Latin American Literature

“In Praise of Darkness” is a poem, and book, by Jorge Luis Borges. It was originally published in Spanish in 1969, late in Borges’s career—his first book of poetry, Fervor de Buenos Aires, was published in 1923. “In Praise of Darkness,” a free verse poem about Aging and Blindness, The Presence of the Past, and the speaker’s Relationship to Literature, also lists some of Borges’s literary influences, including 19th-century American Transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson... Read In Praise of Darkness Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Lyric Poem

Publication year 2016Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: The FutureTags Immigration / Refugee

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided (2016) is a memoir by American actress Diane Guerrero (with Michelle Burford). The narrative chronicles how the US government deported Guerrero’s undocumented parents to Colombia when she was 14 years old. The title emphasizes the author’s patriotism, which she projects onto her parents and the undocumented community more broadly with the use of the plural. Guerrero writes in simple prose and organizes the material chronologically, relying on... Read In the Country We Love Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: SiblingsTags Historical Fiction, Western, Action / Adventure, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Relationships, Love / Sexuality, Arts / Culture

Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir In the Dream House chronologizes her experiences in an abusive relationship with a woman. In the Dream House was published in 2019 and won the 2021 Folio Prize and the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction. The memoir discusses potential modes for queer representation through the use of multiple narrative techniques. As of 2022, Machado lives in Pennsylvania with her wife and works at the University of Pennsylvania.This guide is... Read In the Dream House Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance

Isabel Allende’s In the Midst of Winter is a novel published in 2017 that follows the alternating perspectives of three immigrants whose lives become intertwined after a car accident during a snowstorm in New York City. This study guide refers to the Kindle edition of the novel.Plot OverviewOne night, during a brutal snowstorm in New York City, Richard Bowmaster is driving home when he accidentally crashes into Evelyn Ortega’s car. While he assumes it is... Read In the Midst of Winter Summary


Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction

In the Name of Salomé, first published in 2000, is the fourth novel by Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez. Alvarez is a poet as well as a novelist and has also written essays, nonfiction works, and children’s books. Alvarez was born in the United States but raised in the Dominican Republic, and her work focuses heavily on the experience of a Latina assimilating into American culture. Her family’s political activity in their homeland and her own... Read In the Name of Salome Summary


Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction, Animals, Latin American Literature

The novel is set in the Dominican Republic, in both 1994—the “present day”—and during the period of Trujillo’s regime. In 1994, Dedé Mirabal lives in the house where her three sisters—Minerva, Patria and María Teresa—and her family used to live. Her dead sisters are known as the “butterflies,” they are martyrs and national heroes. In 1994, Dedé talks to an interviewer about her sisters’ lives and deaths. Her narrative is interspersed with her own memories... Read In the Time of the Butterflies Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Immigration / Refugee

Into the Beautiful North is an adventure story that parallels the plot of the Hollywood movie, The Magnificent Seven. Set in the village of Tres Camarones in Sinaloa, Mexico, the novel’s protagonist, nineteen-year-old Nayeli, notices that there are no men left in the village – they have all gone north for more opportunities and a better life. Fearing that the village will be taken over by bandidos, and with no real law enforcement or men... Read Into the Beautiful North Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Language, Society: Immigration, Identity: RaceTags Realistic Fiction, Race / Racism

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Spanish Literature

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 1976Genre Novel, FictionTags Latin American Literature

In Manuel Puig’s novel Kiss of the Spider Woman, Luis Alberto Molina, a hairdresser, and Valentin Arregui Paz, a Marxist revolutionary, are roommates in a Buenos Aires prison from September to October of 1975. Without the use of a narrative voice, Puig uses dialogue, prison reports, and stream-of-consciousness to tell the story. The majority of the novel is written in dialogue.Molina, serving eight years for the “corruption of minors” is animated and sociable, unlike Valentin... Read Kiss of the Spider Woman Summary


Publication year 1945Genre Play, Fiction

The House of Bernarda Alba: a drama about women in the villages of Spain, or La casa de Bernarda Alba, is a play by Spanish poet, dramatist, and director, Federico García Lorca, that explores themes of sexual repression, inheritance, and violence among three generations of women  in rural Spain. The play was Lorca’s last, completed in 1936 only months before his murder at the hands of right-wing nationalist forces at the outbreak of the Spanish... Read La Casa De Bernarda Alba Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Race, Self Discovery, Society: Immigration, Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction, WWII / World War II, Latin American Literature, Jewish Literature, Race / Racism, Holocaust

Publication year 1636Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: RevengeTags Classic Fiction

La vida es sueño, or, Life’s a Dream, by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, is one of Spain’s most well-known plays. First published and first produced in 1636, during the heyday of Spain’s golden age of literature, Life is a Dream is a play in verse that intertwines a complex family drama with a tale of honor and vengeance. The play begins with a dramatic moment, as Rossaura and her servant, Bugle, happen upon a roughly-built... Read Life Is a Dream Summary


Publication year 1989Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Natural World: Food, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Marriage, Self Discovery, Society: WarTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature, Historical Fiction, Romance, Food, Gender / Feminism, Love / Sexuality

Like Water for Chocolate is the debut novel of Laura Esquivel, published in Mexico in 1989 and then translated into English by Carol and Thomas Christensen. Esquivel has sold over four million copies of the novel worldwide. She is a novelist and active politician serving in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. She collaborated with her husband at the time to adapt the novel into a film in 1992, which was then nominated for a Golden... Read Like Water for Chocolate Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Language, Society: ImmigrationTags Action / Adventure, Immigration / Refugee, Latin American Literature

Lost Children Archive is the first English-language novel by Mexican author Valeria Luiselli. Published in 2019, Lost Children Archive was awarded the 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2019 Booker Prize. The novel illustrates the intersections and overlaps between a troubled family’s cross-country journey and the treacherous journeys of “lost” children migrating from Mexico to the United States.Lost Children Archive is also an archive in... Read Lost Children Archive Summary


Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: MarriageTags Classic Fiction, Romance, Post Modernism

Love in the Time of Cholera is a classic work of literary fiction by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. It was published in Spanish in 1985 and translated into English in 1988 by Edith Grossman. The novel was adapted into a film in 2007, which was nominated for several awards including an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Plot SummaryLove in the Time of Cholera is set in... Read Love in the Time of Cholera Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Historical Fiction, Immigration / Refugee, Disability, Arts / Culture, American Literature

Lucky Broken Girl is a middle-grade historical novel by Ruth Behar. Main character Ruthie Mizrahi, an immigrant from Cuba, lives with her parents and brother in 1966 Queens. Together they try to quell their homesickness for Cuba while seeking new opportunities in America. When a car accident injures Ruthie, she becomes bedridden in a full body cast for over a year; during that time, challenges and fears she never anticipated give her a new perspective... Read Lucky Broken Girl Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionTags Realistic Fiction

Lizet Ramirez comes home to Miami for Thanksgiving during her freshman year of college to find her family turned upside down: Her parents are divorced, her Papi has sold her childhood home in Hialeah, and her Mami, her sister Leidy, and her infant nephew Dante have moved into an apartment in Little Havana. Lizet feels isolated from her home community since leaving for college; no one understands her desire to leave southern Florida, and she... Read Make Your Home Among Strangers Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Arts / Culture, Grief / Death, Education, Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: DisabilityTags Realistic Fiction, Relationships

Publication year 1878Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Classic Fiction

Teodoro Golfín, a renowned eye surgeon, has just arrived at the fictional town of Villamojada in Northern Spain in search of the mines of Socrates. At the request of the wealthy Francisco Penáguilas, Teodoro has come to attempt to cure his son, Pablo, of his blindness. On his way to the mines, Teodoro gets lost. He is aided by the arrival of Pablo, who offers to lead Teodoro to the mines where the doctor can... Read Marianela Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Society: ColonialismTags Gothic Literature, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Mexican Gothic is a feminist Gothic novel by Mexican writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who currently resides in Canada. Set in 1950s Mexico City and the burned-out mining town of El Triunfo, the novel is a horror-tinged thriller in which Noemí Taboada, a socialite with aspirations to become an anthropologist, goes to El Triunfo to rescue her cousin Catalina from the Doyles. The Doyles are an impoverished family of English silver barons who have united with a... Read Mexican Gothic Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Realistic Fiction, Sports

Danny Lopez arrives in National City, a suburb just south of San Diego. The area’s proximity to the border makes it heavily Hispanic. Danny has come to spend the summer with his father’s family while his mother and sister are in San Francisco with his mother’s new boyfriend.From the start, it’s clear Danny does not fit in. He is from a beach community in northern San Diego County,where he plays baseball and attends Leucadia Prep... Read Mexican WhiteBoy Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: The Future, Society: Nation, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Equality

Publication year 2015Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Prose poetry

Publication year 2013Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Gender / Feminism, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Sonia Sotomayor (b. June 25, 1954) is an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY to Puerto Rican parents, she graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude in 1976 and Yale University’s law school in 1979. After four and a half years working as an assistant district attorney in New York City, she joined Pavia & Harcourt, a small Manhattan law firm, eventually becoming a partner. In... Read My Beloved World Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Society: Class, Society: Community, Society: ImmigrationTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Race / Racism

Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: ImmigrationTags Immigration / Refugee, Latin American Literature

Publication year 1951Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Romance, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Latin American Literature, Surrealism

“My Life with the Wave” is a surrealist prose poem written by Mexican poet and author Octavio Paz, first published in 1951 as part of Paz’s collection ¿Águila o sol?. The English translation (Eagle or Sun?) by Eliot Weinberger was published in 1976. Paz’s poetry, essays, and prose frequently underscore Mexican identity, culture, and politics, especially during his time as a Mexican diplomat and ambassador. His travels exposed him to surrealism and existentialism, which had... Read My Life With the Wave Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality

Night at the Fiestas is a 2015 story collection by New Mexican author Kirstin Valdez Quade. The collection won the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award, and after its publication, Valdez Quade was recognized as a “Top 5 Writer Under 35” by the National Book Foundation. In 2021, Valdez Quade revised one of the stories, “The Five Wounds” into an award-winning novel of the same title, establishing herself as an important new voice in... Read Night at the Fiestas Summary


Publication year 1961Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride

Opening withits titular novella, No One Writes to the Colonel is a collection of short stories by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, published in 1961. The novella and the other eight stories all take place in small Colombian villages, and Macondo, a Colombian town invented by Márquez. The stories take place during La Violencia, a time of political instability, extreme violence, and civil war between the Conservative and Liberal Parties in Colombia, which spanned from... Read No One Writes To The Colonel Summary


Publication year 1957Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Animals, Science / Nature, Grief / Death, Latin American Literature, Food

Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: MusicTags Magical Realism

Set in the seaport city of Santa María de Antigua, in colonial Spanish Colombia, at the end of the 18th century, Gabriel García Márquez'snovel Of Love and Other Demons tells the tragic story of Sierva María de Todos Los Ángeles. The only daughter of the American-born Marquis de Casalduero, Sierva lives with her father the Marquis, and her mother, Bernarda, in a decaying mansion.Neither parent takes an interest in their daughter, so she's raised by... Read Of Love And Other Demons Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Poem, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Space & The Universe

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Colonialism, Society: EconomicsTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Class, Finance / Money / Wealth, History: U.S., Natural Disaster, Parenting

Publication year 1967Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Society: War, Values/Ideas: FateTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature, Classic Fiction

One Hundred Years of Solitude, first published in Spanish in 1967 as Cien años de soledad, is an internationally renowned work of literature by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. The most highly regarded English version of the book is Gregory Rabassa’s translation, which was first published in 1970. This guide uses citations from the HarperPerennial Modern Classics Edition, which was released in 2006. García Márquez became the fourth Latin American winner of the Nobel Prize... Read One Hundred Years of Solitude Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Latin American Literature

Publication year 1971Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Emotions/Behavior: Memory

Open Veins of Latin America (1997) by Uruguayan journalist, writer, and poet Eduardo Galeano is a historical nonfiction book about the political and economic development of Latin America. The book celebrated its 25th year anniversary in 1997 by issuing a new edition; it features additional writing from Galeano reflecting on the book and the state of Latin American politics seven years after the book’s first release. This study guide refers to the 25th year anniversary... Read Open Veins of Latin America Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Relationships, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Love / Sexuality, History: European

Outlander, published by Random House in 1991, is the first in a highly successful romantic novel series written by Diana Gabaldon, a #1 New York Times bestselling author. The series was adapted into a historical drama television series in 2014.Plot SummaryTold from the perspective of 27-year-old Englishwoman Claire Beauchamp, Outlander begins in 1945 in Inverness, Scotland. Former WWII nurse Claire Beauchamp and her historian husband Frank Randall have returned to Scotland to reconnect after several... Read Outlander Summary


Publication year 1955Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Latin American Literature, Classic Fiction, Magical Realism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Pedro Paramo is a 1955 novel by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. In the novel, Juan Preciado returns to his mother’s hometown after her death to seek out his father. Rather than his father, he discovers a town populated by ghosts and traumatic memories. Pedro Paramo has been hailed as one of the most important novels of the 20th century and a vital foundation stone in the genre of magical realism. This guide uses the 2014... Read Pedro Paramo Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Disability, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Historical Fiction, Disability, Mental Illness, Health / Medicine, Religion / Spirituality, Bullying, Post-War Era

Petey is middle grade novel written by Ben Mikaelsen and published in 1998. Mikaelsen is the author of 10 novels for young adults and the winner of several awards for his work. Petey is dedicated to and based on the life of Clyde Cothern, a Montana man with cerebral palsy who was misdiagnosed as intellectually disabled and confined to Montana State Hospital in the 1920s. Mikaelsen and Cothern shared a close personal friendship, and while... Read Petey Summary


Publication year 54Genre Play, FictionTags Play: Tragedy, Mythology, Classical Period, Ancient Rome, Drama / Tragedy, Play: Drama

Phaedra is one of the 10 surviving Roman tragedies attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca. It was probably composed in the first half of the first century CE, during the time when the Julio-Claudian Dynasty was in power in Rome. Considered one of Seneca’s most influential plays, Phaedra tells the story of Phaedra’s disastrous and unrequited passion for her stepson Hippolytus, loosely drawing on Euripides’s much earlier Greek tragedy, Hippolytus. The play explores themes such as... Read Phaedra Summary


Publication year 1939Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: LanguageTags Humor, Post Modernism

Publication year 1959Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction

Pocho is a 1959 novel by José Antonio Villarreal. Often considered the first Chicano novel, it was a critical success and an important landmark in American literature. This guide refers to the 1989 Anchor Books edition.Plot SummaryPocho is a bildungsroman, telling the coming-of-age story of young Richard Rubio. However, the story starts before his birth with the tale of how his father, Juan Manuel Rubio, first came to America. A soldier who fought alongside Pancho... Read Pocho Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2001Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Climate, Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & PrideTags Free verse, Natural Disaster, Latin American Literature

Publication year 1973Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: RaceTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Social Justice, Grief / Death

Publication year 2003Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Education, Identity: RaceTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, Sociology, Politics / Government, History: U.S.

Publication year 1991Genre Biography, NonfictionTags Immigration / Refugee

Rain of Gold recounts author Victor Villaseñor’s family history through the early 20th century, when his parents immigrated to America to escape the violence of the Mexican Revolution. The book was inspired by stories from his grandmother and father, which Villaseñor came to view with skepticism as an adult. He devoted 12 years to researching his family’s history, which included conducting hundreds of hours of interviews with his parents, Lupe and Juan Salvador, and embarking... Read Rain of Gold Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Education

In 2008, Francisco Jiménez published Reaching Out, the third in his series of autobiographical memoirs for young adults. The first two books in the series chart Jiménez’s childhood and teenage years as the son of Mexican immigrants in southern California. Reaching Out starts in 1962 as Francisco (known as Frank) travels with his family to the campus of Santa Clara University to begin college. Attending university is a hard-won blessing for Frank, the fruit of... Read Reaching Out Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Society: ImmigrationTags Children's Literature, Immigration / Refugee, Arts / Culture, Latin American Literature

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionTags Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Riding Freedom, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, was originally published in 1998 and won several awards, including the 2000 California Young Reader Medal. This fictionalized biography of the real Charlotte Parkhurst, better known as One-eyed Charley, tells the story of the first female to vote in the United States. She became a famous stagecoach driver and a property owner. How she accomplished these things before women were granted suffrage is detailed in this fast-paced narrative... Read Riding Freedom Summary


Publication year 1930Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Religion / Spirituality, Philosophy

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Mythology, Humor, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Survival Fiction, Race / Racism, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Relationships: Family, Identity: LanguageTags Latin American Literature

Signs Preceding the End of the World is a 2009 novel by Mexican author Yuri Herrera. The novel examines personal and geopolitical issues concerning the United States-Mexico border, although it does not mention these nations by name, referring instead to North and South. Herrera is a writer, professor, and political scientist, currently teaching at the University of New Orleans. Herrera’s first novel, Kingdom Cons, won the Premio Binacional de Novela Joven Frontera de Palabras (Border... Read Signs Preceding the End of the World Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: GenderTags Arts / Culture

First published in 1990, the creative memoir Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood explores the childhood and adolescence of author Judith Ortiz Cofer. This study guide uses the second edition published in 1991 by Arte Público Press.Born in Puerto Rico, Cofer grew up moving between a Puerto Rican village and Paterson, New Jersey, where her father was stationed with the US Navy. Through a series of essays and poems, Cofer examines... Read Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance Of A Puerto Rican Childhood Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Mental HealthTags Lyric Poem, Health / Medicine

Publication year 1993Genre Novel, Fiction

So Far from God, by Ana Castillo, follows the lives of Sofi and her four daughters Esperanza, Caridad, Fe, and La Loca. They live in the small town of Tome, New Mexico, and endure hardship after hardship. The novel moves back and forth in time fluidly, often visiting the same periods more than once to provide more information. At eighteen, Sofi marries Domingo, a disreputable gambler. After the birth of La Loca, Sofi banishes Domingo from... Read So Far from God Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Society: Immigration, Relationships: FamilyTags Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Fantasy

A loose adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s Summer of the Mariposas, published in 2012, follows five Mexican American sisters on an epic journey from Texas to Mexico. Drawing deeply from Mexican folklore, the book’s genre blends magical realism and fantasy. The book was a 2013 Andre Norton Award Nominee, won the Westchester Fiction Award, and made the list of 2012 School Library Journal Best Books. Guadalupe Garcia McCall was born in Piedras Negras... Read Summer of the Mariposas Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Sports, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2017Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Society: ImmigrationTags Immigration / Refugee, Social Justice, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions is Valeria Luiselli’s 2017 book-length essay exploring the influx of undocumented child migrants from Latin America that began in 2014. Through her work as a volunteer translator, Luiselli became intimately aware of what these children experienced, and the essay argues that their inhumane treatment at the hands of American bureaucracy is an unjust denial of due process and the core principles of the American Dream... Read Tell Me How It Ends Summary


Publication year 1945Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Identity: Mental HealthTags Romance, Humor, New Adult

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

The Angel's Game is a 2008 supernatural mystery novel by the Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Set in Barcelona in the 1920s and 1930s, the book chronicles a young crime novelist's efforts to unravel an occult conspiracy amid the political turmoil of pre-Francoist Spain. It is the second entry in Zafón's Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and a prequel to 2001's Shadow of the Wind, but The Angel's Game is designed to be read as... Read The Angel's Game Summary


Publication year 1975Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel García Márquez debuted in Spain in 1975. The English translation published in 1976. Márquez’s most notable work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, earned him a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 and reflects his distinct magical realist style, an artistic genre first recognized in literature in predominantly Latin American writing during the 1940s. The Autumn of the Patriarch, published seven years later, also features Márquez’s magical style and... Read The Autumn of the Patriarch Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Novel, Fiction

The Barbarian Nurseries is a contemporary novel set in Los Angeles and other neighborhoods in Orange County. Author Héctor Tobar is a native of Los Angeles and is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and journalist, previously writing weekly columns and acting as a foreign correspondent for the LA Times. Both this novel and his previous work of fiction focus primarily on the lives of immigrants in California. The Barbarian Nurseries was a New York Times Notable... Read The Barbarian Nurseries Summary


Publication year 1975Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: ColonialismTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

“The Book of Sand” by Jorge Luis Borges is a short story dealing with humankind’s inability to grasp the infinite, whether in spirituality or in physical reality. Borges is one of the most well-known Latin American authors, as well as one of the most notable postmodernists of the 20th century. Like much of Borges’s work, “The Book of Sand” contains themes and motifs of the infinite, the nature of literature, spirituality, and postcolonial thought. “The... Read The Book of Sand Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, Fiction

Told through a host of different voices and perspectives, The Book of Unknown Americans examines the experiences of Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. and presents their stories in a full and varied light. The central focus is the Rivera family, who has travelled from Mexico in order to get better schooling for their teenaged daughter, Maribel. Maribel suffers from a brain injury as the result of a fall from a ladder. Her parents, Arturo and... Read The Book of Unknown Americans Summary


Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Masculinity, Life/Time: Coming of Age

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a 2007 novel by the Dominican American author Junot Díaz. Its title character is a young overweight Dominican American man obsessed with fantasy novels, superhero comics, and tabletop role-playing games. Using Spanish neologisms, magical realism, and references to late-20th-century nerd culture, Díaz weaves a multigenerational family saga chronicling life under the murderous Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo and the subsequent Dominican diaspora to the United States. Widely praised... Read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Summary


Publication year 1997Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Immigration, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: Education, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Historical Fiction, Poverty, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 1940Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: EducationTags Fantasy, Allegory / Fable / Parable

Jorge Luís Borges’s short story “The Circular Ruins” was originally written in 1939 and was first published under the title “Las ruinas circulares” in the Argentinian literary journal Sur in 1940. By the time “The Circular Ruins” was finally translated into English for American audiences in 1962, Borges was on his way to international renown. In 1961, he was awarded the Prix Formentor (an elite international award), and he traveled to the US to become... Read The Circular Ruins Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Poem, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Fame, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: LanguageTags Lyric Poem, Race / Racism, Diversity, Social Justice

Publication year 1962Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Latin American Literature

Panamanian-born Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes wrote The Death of Artemio Cruz (La Muerte de Artemio Cruz) in 1962. It was Fuentes’s third novel and established him as a major figure in Latin American literature. The novel belongs to the Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, which saw the translation of major works of Latin American writers, such as Julio Cortázar (Argentina) and Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia), for circulation in Europe and the United... Read The Death of Artemio Cruz Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Book, NonfictionTags Sociology, History: U.S., Race / Racism, Immigration / Refugee, Creative Nonfiction

Luis Alberto Urrea’s book, The Devil’s Highway, tells the story of a disastrous border crossing between Mexico and The United States. The Devil’s Highway refers to a particularly brutal stretch of desert. In the past, it was not used as often as other routes, but as the story shows, the development and proliferation of the Border Patrol has made it necessary to use this dangerous route. The story is divided into four sections: “Cutting the... Read The Devil's Highway Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Trauma / Abuse / Violence

The Distance Between Us is a 2012 memoir by Reyna Grande, who is also the author of the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing With Butterflies. A finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award and required reading in schools and colleges across the country, The Distance Between Us is followed by A Dream Called Home, which continues the story of Grande’s life. In addition to writing, Grande also teaches and works as a... Read The Distance Between Us Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora is a novel for middle graders by Cuban American writer Pablo Cartaya. This study guide refers to the original 2017 Viking edition.Plot SummaryIt is the beginning of summer in Canal Grove, a Cuban enclave in modern-day Miami. For 13-year-old Arturo Zamora, the novel’s narrator, this is usually a season of lazy pastimes, but surprises are in store. When he becomes lovesick over a Spanish girl named Carmen Sánchez, and... Read The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora Summary


Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction, Latin American Literature

The Feast of the Goat, written by Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, is a work of historical fiction originally published in Spanish in 2000 and translated into English by Edith Grossman in 2001. The novel chronicles the final days of Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship over the Dominican Republic from three points of view: through the eyes of his assassins in 1961, from the time they wait to ambush him until their final moments; through Trujillo’s... Read The Feast of the Goat Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: GenderTags Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

The First Rule of Punk is Celia C. Pérez’s 2017 debut YA novel. It was a 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book, a 2018 ALSC Notable Children’s Book, and a 2018 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award Winner. Pérez, as a long-time punk zine author and Mexican Cuban woman, drew from her adoration of “outsiders” and “weirdos” to craft her first novel. Pérez then penned her second YA novel, Strange Birds: A Field Guide... Read The First Rule of Punk Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Romance, Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relation