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Latino Fiction

A list of great fiction by Latino authors, from page turners to prize-winners. 

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Contemporary

Cover of Lost City Radio
Daniel
Alarcón

Stunning, timely, and absolutely mesmerizing, this powerful and searing novel of three lives fractured by a civil war probes the deepest questions of war and its meaning: from its devastating impact on a society transformed by violence to the emotional scarring each participant, observer, and survivor carries for years after.

Cover of A Long Petal of the Sea
Isabel
Allende

This epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War to Chile in search of a place to call home.

Available to download: eBook Audio

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): Largo Pétalo de Mar

Cover of Afterlife
Julia
Alvarez

Antonia Vega has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves, but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words. Now she questions: How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves?

Available to download: eBook

Cover of Where We Come From
Oscar
Cásares

A stunning and timely novel about a Mexican-American family in Brownsville, Texas, that reluctantly becomes involved in smuggling immigrants into the United States.

Available to download: eBook

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): De Donde Venimos
 

Cover of The House of Impossible Be
Joseph
Cassara

A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and '90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning.

Available to download: eBook Audio
 

Cover of Make Your Home Among Stran
Jennine Capó
Crucet

When Lizet-the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school-secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy-Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom-without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life.

Available to download: eBook

Cover of Dominicana
Angie
Cruz

In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.

Available to download: eBook Audio
 

Cover of Cantoras
Carolina
De Robertis

In 1977 Uruguay, a military government crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In this environment, where the everyday rights of people are under attack, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression to be punished. And yet Romina, Flaca, Anita "La Venus," Paz, and Malena--five cantoras, women who "sing"--somehow, miraculously, find one another. Together, they discover an isolated, nearly uninhabited cape, Cabo Polonio, which they claim as their secret sanctuary. Over the next thirty-five years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. And throughout, again and again, the women will be tested--by their families, lovers, society, and one another--as they fight to live authentic lives.

Cover of The Brief Wondrous Life of
Junot
Díaz

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukú-- the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

Available to download: eBook

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): La Breve y Maravillosa Vida de Oscar Wao
 

Cover of The Book of Unknown Americ
Cristina
Henríquez

Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she'll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better. When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It's also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel's core.

Available to download: eBook Audio

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): El Libro de los Americanos Desconocidos

Cover of Lost Children Archive
Valeria
Luiselli

A fiercely imaginative novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border--an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.

Available to download: eBook Audio

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): Desierto Sonoro
 

Cover of Her Body and Other Parties
Carmen Maria
Machado

Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, the stories in this collection swing from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

Available to download: eBook

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): Su Cuerpo y Otras Fiestas
 

Cover of Gods of Jade and Shadow
Silvia
Moreno-Garcia

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather's house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather's room. She opens it--and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea's demise, but success could make her dreams come true. 
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City--and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Available to download: eBook Audio
 

Cover of The Affairs of the Falcons
Melissa
Rivero

A stunning debut novel about a young undocumented Peruvian woman fighting to keep her family afloat in New York City.

Cover of Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Ingrid
Rojas Contreras

A mesmerizing debut set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar's violent reign about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both.

Available to download: eBook Audio

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): La Fruta del Borrachero
 

Cover of We the Animals
Justin
Torres

Three brothers tear their way through childhood-- smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn--he's Puerto Rican, she's white--and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times. Written in magical language with unforgettable images, this is a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up, how deeply we are formed by our earliest bonds, and how we are ultimately propelled at escape velocity toward our futures.

Available to download: eBook

Cover of The House of Broken Angels
Luis Alberto
Urrea

"In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border.

Available to download: eBook Audio

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): La Casa de los Ángeles Rotos 
 

Cover of The Sound of Things Fallin
Juan Gabriel
Vásquez

Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America's greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia. Translated from Spanish.

Available to download: eBook

Read it in Spanish (original text): El Ruido de las Cosas al Caer 
 

Classics

Cover of The House of the Spirits
Isabel
Allende

A best seller and critical success all over the world, The House of the Spirits is the magnificent epic of the Trueba family -- their loves, their ambitions, their spiritual quests, their relations with one another, and their participation in the history of their times, a history that becomes destiny and overtakes them all. Translated from Spanish.

Available to download: eBook Audio

Read it Spanish (original text): La Casa de los Espiritus

 

Cover of How the García Girls Lost
Julia
Alvarez

Uprooted from their family home in the Dominican Republic, the four Garcia sisters-Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia-arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures, and extended family they left behind. What they have lost-and what they find-is revealed in the fifteen interconnected stories that make up this exquisite novel from one of the premiere novelists of our time.

Available to download: eBook

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): De Cómo Las Muchachas García Perdieron el Acento

 

Cover of Bless Me, Ultima
Rudolfo A.
Anaya

Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past--a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world... and will nurture the birth of his soul.

Available to download: eBook

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): Bendiceme, Ultima

 

Cover of The Savage Detectives
Roberto
Bolaño

New Year's Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: To track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesarea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run. Translated from Spanish.

Available to download: Audio

Read it in Spanish (original text): Los Detectives Salvajes

 

Cover of The House on Mango Street
Sandra
Cisneros

The remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes-sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous-Sandra Cisneros' masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery.

Available to download: eBook Spanish eBook Spanish Audio

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): La Casa en Mango Street
Listen in Spanish (translated from English): La Casa en Mango Street

 

Cover of Like Water for Chocolate:
Laura
Esquivel

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother's womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. Translated from Spanish.

Available to download: eBook

Read it in Spanish (original text): Como Agua Para Chocolate: Novela de Entregas Mensuales con Recetas, Amores y Remedios Caseros

 

Cover of Dreaming in Cuban
Cristina
García

A vivid and funny novel about three generations of a Cuban family divided by conflicting loyalties over the Cuban revolution, set in the world of Havana in the 1970s and '80s and in an emigre neighborhood of Brooklyn. It is a story of immense charm about women and politics, women and witchcraft, women and their men.

Read it in Spanish (translated from English): Soñar en Cubano

Cover of One Hundred Years of Solit
Gabriel
Garcia Marquez

One of the twentieth century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize-winning career. It tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America. Translated from Spanish.

Available to download: eBook Spanish eBook

Read it in Spanish (original text): Cien Años de Soledad

 

Cover of The Mambo Kings Play Songs
Oscar
Hijuelos

It's 1949 and two young Cuban musicians make their way up from Havana to the big arena of New York, where they are workers by day, stars of dance halls by night. Hijuelos's marvelous portrait of the Castillo brothers, their families, their fellow musicians and lovers, their triumphs and tragedies, re-creates the sights and sounds of an era in music and an unsung moment in American life.