Hispanic and Latinx books

Today’s blog comes from guest author, Michele Hirschfeld, who is highlighting Hispanic and Latinx authors.

Anita De Monte Laughs Last, by Xochitl Gonzalez, is a triumphant, sassy, enraging and yet life-affirming novel about race, privilege, emotional abuse, masculine frailty and white elitism on the Ivy League campus and in the art world. It opens with fictionalized events of the real-life circumstances surrounding the death of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, who fell out of a window in the presence of her husband and famed artist Carl Andre. Here our fictional protagonist Anita (as Ana) tells her story in retrospect, starting with her death in 1985, and I absolutely love her unquelled passion and feisty voice. The other protagonist is Raquel, a first-generation Ivy League student attending Brown University in the late 90’s. Her Puerto Rican roots are at odds with her desire to be included and appreciated for both her intelligence and her hard-won achievements. Her self-actualization commences with the detour her final thesis takes when she discovers Anita’s works. Vivid, courageous, and unique life-through-art pieces, they were determinedly hidden away and erased through obscurity by her husband Jack. Anita’s ghost has other plans for her works, (her “babies”), and so does Raquel! I loved this book so much that I now plan to read Xochitl Gonzalez’s bestselling debut, Olga Dies Dreaming.

Other exciting new titles:

What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jiménez (Puerto Rican family of women in Staten Island, feisty and funny, mystery, lots of foul language)

Familia by Lauren E. Rico (Puerto Rico, a mystery thriller about family ties)

The Things We Didn’t Know by Elba Iris Pérez (Family between Puerto Rico and Massachusetts, fiction with a feel of true-life memoir, historical, coming of age for adults)

Victim by Andrew Boryga (Puerto Rican fictional satire on race, class, privilege, navigating college and career)

Say Hello to My Little Friend by Jennine Capó Crucet (Cuban culture in Miami, fantasy, mystery thriller, Scarface meets Moby Dick)

Highly anticipated books to come this Spring:

The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez (Dominican Republic, historical fiction, magical realism)

The House on Biscayne Bay by Chanel Cleeton (Cuban American, gothic mystery, historical fiction)

Oye by Melissa Mogollon (Colombian American, LGBTQ, comedy, coming of age for adults)

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