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6 Latinx Authors To Watch

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • October 14, 2020

Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, celebrates the contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Latin America, and other Spanish-speaking nations. The authors who fall into this category are a growing force in the literary world. Drawing from the fecund landscape created by greats like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Sandra Cisneros, Carlos Fuentes, and others, there is a rich, new crop of talented authors populating this field. We had a hard time narrowing it down to six!

Elizabeth Acevedo

Bestselling Dominican-American poet and novelist Acevedo is the recipient of a National Book Award and a Carnegie Medal, along with many other accolades. A first-generation American, she grew up in New York City. As a teen, she participated in poetry slams and brought that passion into her National Book Award-winning YA novel-in-verse, The Poet X. Her newest book Clap When You Land follows two sixteen-year-old sisters, Yahaira in New York and Camino in the Dominican Republic, who don't know of each other's existence until after their father dies in a plane crash.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

An award-winning poet and author, Castillo crossed the border from Mexico with his family when he was five years old. His memoir, Children of the Land, offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the stresses and difficulties faced by America's undocumented families. Castillo was the first undocumented student to earn an MFA from the University of Michigan. He now teaches at Ashland University. His Cenzóntle, a book of poems, has won several distinguished prizes.

Carolina De Robertis

The daughter of Uruguayan parents, De Robertis was born in England and later lived in Switzerland before eventually settling in the U.S. She has written four novels, all of which have been lauded by critics and readers alike. Her acclaimed 2019 novel, Cantoras, explores what it was like to be gay under the Uruguayan dictatorship beginning in 1973. Another of her novels, The Gods of Tango, offers the story of a destitute young woman living in early 1900s Argentina who finds a livelihood and a new life when she disguises herself as a man to join a troupe of tango musicians.

Valeria Luiselli

Mexican author Luiselli moved to New York City to study dance. She eventually changed her focus to literature and now teaches at Bard College and lives in the Bronx with her family. Much of her writing is informed by her work with asylum-seeking children from Latin America. This is true of her beautiful award-winning 2019 novel Lost Children Archive. Her nonfiction work Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions explores the perilous issues surrounding the United States' fraught immigration policy.

Hernán Díaz

In 2017, NYC-based scholar Díaz stunned the publishing world with his debut novel, In the Distance, a western about a young Swedish immigrant journeying through America's desert frontier between the Gold Rush and the Civil War. Díaz was subsequently named as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. His previous book was a study of Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine essayist and poet, called Borges, Between History and Eternity. Born in Argentina, Díaz's family moved to Sweden for a time when he was a young child.

Cristina Henríquez

The daughter of a Panamanian father and an American mother, Henríquez grew up in Delaware, but spent summers in Panama. Her 2015 novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, was named a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, The Daily Beast's Novel of the Year, and Best Book of the Year by Mother Jones, Oprah.com, and School Library Journal. It is the story of two immigrant families whose lives become connected after both flee their home countries for a new life in Delaware. Her 2007 book of short stories is called Come Together, Fall Apart.

As we mentioned, it was quite difficult to narrow down our list to just these six promising new voices. We know there are many other exciting Latinx authors to celebrate these days. Please feel free to add your favorites to the list in the comments below!

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