Each year, September 15-October 15, we celebrate the heritage of Hispanics in the United States, along with their history, culture and traditions. Latino literature, whether from Spain, Latin America or the U.S, has deep roots. Let’s take a look at just a few Hispanic authors and titles on the English and Spanish shelves of the Monrovia Public Library.
The Infatuations by Spaniard Javier Marias is a new book that has hit the literary world by storm. When a woman overhears a conversation about a friend who has been murdered, she contemplates the truth and fiction of what she knows. This elegant novel, written in beautiful prose, is already on the way to being a classic.
Another favorite Spanish author is Carolos Ruiz Zafon. His sensational Shadow of the Wind is an epic story of a young man pursuing truth and love, a secret library and a mysterious character who is destroying all the books by a certain author.
Bestselling Chilean author Isabel Allende writes layered stories that focus on women and sometimes include elements of Magic Realism, where fantasy appears out of nowhere. Among her best known titles are The House of Spirits, about 4 generations of a family, and Daughter of Fortune and Portrait of Sepia, both set in historic California. Also from Chile is Robert Bolano. Taking place in the fictional Mexican town of Santa Teresa (think Juarez), his 2666 is a monumental novel about a group of people who unintentionally become involved in the lives of missing women.
The House on Mango Street, an adult and teen favorite, by Chicana author Sandra Cisneros is about the young Latina Esperanza who is growing up in Chicago. Los Angeles Times writer Hector Tobar brings Southern California to life in The Barbarian Nurseries about a Latina nanny and the unexpected journey she takes with the children for whom she cares.