With Hispanic Heritage Month running from 15th September to 15th October, this collection of exceptional novels highlights writers from Mexico, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and Central and South America. As for why Hispanic Heritage Month is held at this time of the year, 15th September is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, while Mexico and Chile respectively celebrate their independence days on 16th and 18th September.
Fittingly, many of the novels included here are infused with a spirit of independence, and a search for freedoms, including that of young characters working to find their place in the world. Of special note are Elizabeth Acevedo’s Young Adult coming-of-age masterworks that resonate as much with adults as they do with a younger readership. Clap When You Land, for example, is a profoundly moving, deeply gripping novel-in-verse about grief, forgiveness and family secrets. Set between the Dominican Republic and America, it’s also incisive on the exploitative tendencies of tourism, and gender inequality. She really is a remarkable writer.
Mexican Canadian Silvia Moreno-Garcia is another contemporary diamond, her rich body of work spanning wildly inventive Gothic feminist fantasy, edgy, political noir thrillers and magnificent magic realist romance. Talking of which, Chile’s incomparable, globally-celebrated Isabel Allende features here too. Alongside her dazzling, diverse novels that often meld magic realism with history, we also recently loved her inspiring feminist memoir, The Soul of a Woman.
From novels by mistresses and masters of modern literature, to cool contemporary thrillers, to genre-defying works of literary genius, this collection blooms with an abundance of talent.