Latino American Fiction and Literature

Latino authors have produced a rich body of work that is only partially represented here. In some cases we have noted other titles by a particular author, but we suggest you check the Library's listings for even more works.


Alcalá, Kathleen. Treasures in Heaven.
A young woman follows her lover to Mexico City in the late 1800’s only to fall under the influence of a powerful and mysterious woman known as La Señorita.
Allende, Isabel. Portrait in Sepia.
A family saga set in 19th century Chile told through the eyes of a young woman who suffered a brutal trauma as a child.
Alvarez, Julia. In the Name of Salomé.
The story of a mother and daughter who confront the limitations of machismo and the upheavals of two Caribbean revolutions is based on the lives of a real family with political and cultural influence in the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Arenas, Reinaldo. The Color of Summer, or, the New Garden of Earthly Delights.
A collection of witty, original stories by one of Cuba’s great writers.
Benítez, Sandra. The Weight of All Things.
The story of the war in El Salvador as told through the eyes of 9-year-old Nicolas, desperate to find his mother after a guerilla attack in the capital city.
Chavarría, Daniel. Adios Muchachos.
A grab bag of nefarious characters led by an erotic scamp named Alicia provide the colorful cast for this comic romp; pulp fiction at its best.
Chávez, Denise. Loving Pedro Infante.
A divorced, thirty-something Chicana stuck in a go-nowhere relationship with a married man reevaluates the choices she has made after a chance encounter at a border-town truck stop.
Cisneros, Sandra. Caramelo, or, Puro Cuento.
A multi-generational story features a colorful family of renowned shawl makers and moves back and forth between Mexico City and Chicago.
Dorfman, Ariel. Blake’s Therapy.
A novel of psychological intrigue involving a corporate executive, a mysterious Latina (is she real or virtual?), and a nefarious therapist who is after control of much more than his patient’s treatment.
Ferré, Rosario. Eccentric Neighborhoods.
In the waning days of the plantation society of Puerto Rico, two families’ lives, loves, and intrigues intertwine in this novel by National Book Award finalist Ferré, author of the acclaimed The House on the Lagoon.
García, Cristina. Monkey Hunting.
In 1857 a Chinese man begins a new life halfway around the world in Havana’s Chinatown.
Garcia-Aguilera, Carolina. One Hot Summer.
A young mother struggles with the decision to go back to work or be a stay-at-home mom while her old-fashioned, extended family cranks up the pressure in favor of the latter.
Gilb, Dagoberto. Woodcuts of Women.
Written in a deftly ironic style these ten selections weave moving stories of men and women who struggle with longing and heartbreak. Also by this author, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Lacuña.
Guérard, Albert J. (Albert Joseph) The Hotel in the Jungle.
Over a span of 112 years, the ancient and remote Mexican city of Casas Grandes draws five separate people to it, each on their own special quest.
Hijuelos, Oscar. A Simple Habana Melody (from When the World Was Good).
A holocaust survivor—a composer mistaken for a Jew because of his name—returns to Cuba, but relives his past life and love of a time before the war.
López, Lorraine. Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories.
The absurdities brought on by culture conflict and the grief of losing one’s heritage feature in this debut collection of short stories.
Limón, Garciela. Erased Faces.
A fictionalized account of the 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, features a Latina journalist from Los Angeles reporting on the revolt.
Martin, Patricia Preciado. Amor Enterno: Eleven Lessons in Love.
A collection of short stories tied together by a theme of the power of love.
Mendez, Ana. In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd.
A collection of related short stories set in Miami and Havana deals with the hopes and disappointments of post-revolutionary Cubans.
Obejas, Achy. Days of Awe.
Having grown up in a Chicago community of refugees from Castro’s Cuba, a young woman discovers the surprising truth about her family's heritage when she returns to Cuba on a job as an interpreter.
Padilla, Mike. Hard Language: Short Stories.
An award-winning collection of short stories displaying broad social scope and psychological subtleties.
Quesada, Roberto. Never through Miami.
A raucous, funny novel of the misadventures and woes of immigration features a variety of characters hoping to begin new lives in America.
Quiñonez, Ernesto. Bodega Dreams.
The dark side of the American Dream as lived in Spanish Harlem where Willie Bodega can produce almost anything you need in exchange for life-long loyalty.
Rivera, Beatriz. Playing with Light.
When a book group of Cuban-American housewives reads an obscure historical saga about a clan of Havana dressmakers, strange and wondrous things happen as they get more and more involved in the book.
Rodriguez, Luis J. The Republic of East L.A.: Stories.
A collection of short stories set in the Mexican-American neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Soto, Gary. Nickel and Dime.
The desperate, sad and funny stories of three Latino characters living on the street in Oakland, California.
Valdes-Rodriguez, Alisa. The Dirty Girls Social Club.
Six college friends from diverse backgrounds form a mutual support and admiration (mostly) society that carries them along life's sometimes bumpy road.
Villanueva, Alma. Luna’s California Poppies.
Written in diary form, this coming-of-age novel tells of a street-wise young teen who is deserted by her mother, then taken into the home of a kindly stranger.


Anaya, Rudolfo A. Shaman Winter.
A return of charismatic gumshoe Sonny Baca as he deals with strange dreams of past lives that prepare him once again to face his archenemy Raven.
Garcia-Aguilera, Carolina. Havana Heat: a Lupe Solano Mystery.
Another Lupe Solano adventure finds the intrepid heroine attempting to rescue a priceless 500-year-old tapestry hidden in a buried vault in Havana.
Nava, Michael. Rag and Bone.
As he recuperates from a heart attack, gay Mexican-American lawyer Henry Rios becomes entangled in a family secret that leads to murder.
Taibo, Paco Ignacio. Frontera Dreams: a Héctor Belascoarán Shayne Detective Novel.
A famous Mexican movie star disappears somewhere along the U.S.-Mexican border, and her one-time high school sweetheart, Detective Shayne, sets out to find her.
Villatoro, Marcos McPeek. Home Killings: a Romilia Chacón Mystery.
Romilia Chacón, a rookie on the Nashville police force, finds herself in the thick of a gruesome serial killer case.


Castillo, Ana. I Ask the Impossible. (811.54 Casti.A)
Boldly voiced poems by acclaimed novelist and essayist celebrate women's strengths and passions.
García Camarillo, Cecilio. Selected Poetry of Cecilio García-Camarillo. (811.54 Garci.C)
Known more for his role in the broader cultural movement of Chicano America than for his poetic works, García-Camarillo offers fresh insights into his personal odyssey and vision of the arts with these selected poems.
Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. Elegies in Blue. (811.54 Saenz.B)
A crisp, clean style, mestizo words that are the language of the border, characterize the work of Sâenz.
Suarez, Virgil. Guide to the Blue Tongue. (811.54 Suare.V)
Rich brew of vivid poems evoking the mythical and historical landscape of Cuba.

Memoirs and Biographies

Stavans, Ilan. On Borrowed Words: a Memoir of Language. (B Stava.I Stava.I)
A memoir of a multi-cultural immigrant experience as expressed by the many languages the author learned.
Urrea, Luis Alberto. Nobody’s son: Notes from an American Life. (B Urrea.L Urrea.L)
With a Mexican father from Tijuana and an Anglo mother from New York, Urrea relates his struggles to sort out the culture clash of his childhood.
Veciana-Suarez, Ana. Birthday Parties in Heaven: Thoughts on Love, Life, Grief, and Other Matters of the Heart. (B Vecia.A Vecia.A)
Inspirational stories and essays drawn from her own life experiences of growing up Cuban-American.
Villaseñor, Victor. Thirteen Senses. (B Villase Villa.V)
A memoir that reads like an epic saga about the author’s colorful immigrant family is set in Depression-era Southern California.
You also might enjoy these non-U.S. Spanish language authors whose works have been translated into English:
Alegría, Claribel
Arenas, Reinaldo
Azua, Felix de
Barnet, Miguel
Borges, Jorges
Cabrera Infante, Guillermo
Carpentier, Alejo
Chacel, Rosa
Cortazar, Julio
Donoso, José
Esquivel, Laura
Fuentes, Carlos
García Márquez, Gabriel
González, José Luis
Martínez, Moreno Carlos
Martínez, Thomas Eloy
Mendoza, Eduardo
Mutis, Alvaro
Ortega, Julio
Piglia, Ricardo
Puig, Manuel
Rulfo, Juan
Sábato, Ernesto
Soriano, Osvaldo
Valenzuela, Luisa
Vargas-Llosa, Mario
Reader's Services Department
Compiled by Barabara Levie, May 2003
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