Approximately 95% of published American novels from 1950 to 2018 were written by white authors, even though white people account for only 60% of the population. And in the publishing industry itself, only 6% identify as Latinx across various fields that include executive level positions, editorial staff, sales, and literary agents. The numbers are even lower for people of Black, Indigenous, and Middle Eastern descent.
Even with the push toward more-inclusive hiring practices and concerted efforts across the publishing industry to buy more manuscripts by authors of color, those same writers have been told publishers don’t know how to market their novels. So this Latinx Heritage Month, Glamour urges you to make a concerted effort to support books written by Latinx authors. All are available through large commercial retailers like Amazon—but if you are able to take it a step further, you can also purchase from a Black- or Latinx-owned independent bookstore.
Classic reads by Latinx authors include One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, any of Elizabeth Acevedo’s best-selling books, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, to name a few. If you’re a comic book fan, consider reading La Boriqueña by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. Anthology fans may enjoy Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed edited by Saraciea J. Fennell.
Below, we rounded up 23 more must-read books by Latinx authors, from heart-wrenching memoirs to steamy romances. This is a nonexhaustive list, and more Latinx recommendations can be found on Latinx Reads, an Instagram dedicated to books written by, for, and about Latinxs.
1. Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Sabrina & Corina is an award-winning collection of stories about indigenous Latinas in Colorado that delves into hard truths about race, femininity, friendship, and violence against women.
2. Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Inspired by the story of the author’s own mother, Dominicana follows 15-year-old Ana Cancion as she marries a man twice her age and moves from the Dominican Republic to New York City, exploring the emotional turmoil that follows. Amazon touted the book as a “vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.”
3. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Nearly 30 years after its publication, In the Time of the Butterflies remains a must-read thanks to its poignant political commentary and unfiltered look at life in the Dominican Republic under General Rafael Leónidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. The novel follows four sisters, delving into their lives as daughters, lovers, and rebels to reveal the “the human costs of political oppression.” Fans of Alvarez also rave about her highly anticipated novel Afterlife.
4. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
Brooklyn Brujas series author Zoraida Córdova’s most recent novel, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, follows the story of a family hunting for the truth behind their secret inheritance before it destroys them. According to The New York Times Book Review, the contemporary fantasy is great for fans of Alice Hoffman, Isabel Allende, and Sarah Addison Allen.
5. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
Sonora Reyes’s debut novel, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School, was generating tons of hype before it was even released. The YA contemporary novel follows a teen who transfers schools after being outed as queer by her former best friend. At her new school, Yamilet Flores fakes being straight and navigates the intricacies of pretending to be someone you’re not, all while trying to uphold unrealistic parental expectations as a perfect student and daughter.
6. In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero
In the Country We Love is an unfiltered and heartbreaking memoir that delves into the life of Orange Is the New Black star Diane Guerrero. While the memoir is ultimately a story of triumph and resilience, it also focuses on the hard truths of what it’s like for a child of undocumented immigrants living in the United States and the flaws of the U.S. immigration system. The memoir is written with Michelle Burford.
7. You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
Telenovela and rom-com fans alike will fall in love with Alexis Daria’s novel You Had Me at Hola. A New York Times Editor’s Choice pick and an O Magazine Best Romance pick, it’s a smart and sexy read that puts Latinx joy (and love!) at the forefront. It’s a must-read for all Jane the Virgin fans.
8. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Cemetery Boys is best-selling author Aiden Thomas’s first novel. The paranormal young adult novel follows the story of Yadriel, a trans brujx who wants to prove himself to his family. After summoning a ghost, he’s forced to help bring the spirit to rest in a quick-paced adventure.
9. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Touted as one of the most important novels of the 20th century, The House of the Spirits was an instant best seller when it was published in 1982. In Isabel Allende’s debut novel, the cross-generational narrative weaves an intricate political commentary with love and destiny to create an unforgettable story.
10. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Calling all gothic horror fans: Silvia Moreno-Garcia needs to be included in your next book haul. The best-seller and soon-to-be Hulu series follows the story of Mexican socialite Noemí Taboada as she’s sent to the countryside to investigate her cousin’s outlandish, but perhaps truthful, claims about her new husband.
11. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
A coming-of-age story that delves into death, grief, and what it means to be the “perfect” Mexican daughter, Erika L. Sánchez’s best-selling novel takes on stereotypes, unrealistic pressures, and an emphasis, above all, on speaking the truth in this gripping tale.
12. Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster
TikTok-famous author Alex Aster’s #BookTok favorite, Curse of the Night Witch, is the first in a middle-grade duology that’s filled with edge-of-your-seat stakes and intricately woven myths based on Colombian mythology.
13. Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
A Reese Witherspoon book club pick, this contemporary YA novel follows a young Argentine soccer star as she strives to make her athletic dreams come true. The novel is filled with romance, passion, and a tough reminder that you live life for yourself, no one else—not even your parents.
14. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
A YA dystopian novel described by Amazon as “The Outsiders meets Mad Max,” Lilliam Rivera’s action-packed story follows Nalah and her all-girl crew as she navigates the meaning of sisterhood, chosen family, and survival.
15. Halsey Street by Naima Coster
In her debut novel, Naima Coster takes on massive topics like gentrification and immigration as she delves into the life of her main character—an Afro-Latina returning home to her nearly unrecognizable Brooklyn neighborhood after a few years away. It’s a captivating adult novel with family, and what it means to be human, at the core of it all.
16. Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
A New York Times best seller, Olga Dies Dreaming is Xochitl Gonzalez’s dazzling debut that delves into the truth about the “American dream” and the devastation left behind by the catastrophic Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. This smart romantic comedy will have you rooting for Olga, a New York wedding planner for the 1%, as she deals with family drama and finding a love story of her own.
17. Reclaim the Stars edited by Zoraida Córdova
An anthology that takes the Latinxs in space trend to an intergalactic level. Authors like Isabel Ibañez, Daniel José Older, and Lilliam Rivera come together to imagine short stories that take the reader through time and space on a journey to investigate Latine dysphoria in a thoughtful (and imaginative) way.
18. The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
After you read and enjoy Mexican Gothic, pick up this beautifully unsettling tale. Set in post-Independence War Mexico, this chilling suspense novel will leave you with chills as you follow the terrifying haunting at Hacienda San Isidro.
19. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
A heartbreaking and introspective look at love and life, this New York Times bestselling book will have you sobbing openly into a tub of ice cream and wishing you could save both the MCs. Follow Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio as they attempt to live their last day on Earth to the fullest—and perhaps fall in love while they try.
20. Maria Maria by Marytza K. Rubio
Gothic literature meets the fantastical in this mystifying and intriguing novel by Marytza K. Rubio. A series of short stories, Maria Maria delves into the Mexican-American magic in a macabre, yet wholly playful way that leaves you wanting more.
21. The Neopolitan Sisters by Margo Candela
Margo Candela is putting dysfunctional families at the forefront of her latest novel. A thoughtful and intriguing look into the lives of three sisters who use different coping mechanisms to survive their childhood and deal with adulthood. When the three reunite at a wedding, there’s no shortage of trauma that needs to be revealed and unpacked so the distinctly different sisters can move forward in their lives as a cohesive family.
22. Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie
Ophelia After All is a contemporary young adult novel that gives queer Latinas the representation they deserve. When Ophelia Rojas finds herself falling in love with the quiet girl in her class, she questions everything she thought she knew about herself, her sexuality, and the people that surround her. It’s a wholesome novel that reminds you that you can’t live by other people’s expectations, only your own.
23. No Filters and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado
A voicey YA rom-com that follows the life of 17-year-old Kat Sanchez as she uses social media to navigate the world as her alter ego: Max. That is, until a stolen photo of hers goes viral and she’s forced to reckon with her actions—and face the consequences.
Marilyn La Jeunesse is a writer in New York City. Follow her on Instagram @mtlajeunesse.