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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Hispanic Heritage Month

While most heritage month recognitions in the United States last from the first to last day of a given month, Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th to coincide with the Independence Day celebrations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. During this time, we can celebrate the historic and continuing contributions of Hispanic and Latinx individuals and cultures to the United States. What began as a weekly celebration in 1968 expanded in 1987 to a full month that honors both Hispanic Americans (those from or descended from Spanish-speaking countries) and Latino Americans (those from or descended from Latin American countries), a population that exceeds 60 million in our country. As we continuously navigate the terrain of respecting people's perceptions of their own cultures and identities, many have called for a rebranding of the month as Latinx Heritage Month.

As with all heritage months, it is critical to remember that these are times for special recognition but are in no way a replacement for a constant embrace of a diverse range of identities that make up our communities. Nevertheless, we can take this opportunity to embrace and learn more about these cultures, perhaps battling some misperceptions. For example, while many of the resources below highlight the experiences of immigrants, the vast majority of Hispanic and Latinx Americans in the U.S. are citizens, a fact which may get clouded by the news. Regardless of citizen status, we are lucky to have a plethora of vibrant cultural and individual contributions from these communities, both immigrant and naturalized citizens. The theme for 2021 is "Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope," so join us at the library in both hoping and sharing as we look to some of the fiction and nonfiction below to learn more.

Click here to explore the site hosted by the Library of Congress and check out a list of U.S. Latinx Voices in Poetry from the Poetry Foundation. And/ or... read below to discover and request a plethora of books by authors identifying as Hispanic or Latinx.


A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabel Allende

Afterlife, Julia Alvarez

The Savage Detectives, Robert Bolaño

It is Wood, It is Stone, Gabriela Burnham

Prayers for the Stolen, Jennifer Clement

Dominicana, Angie Cruz

Cantoras, Carolina De Robertis

Infinite Country, Patricia Engel

Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

Sabrina & Corina: stories, Kali Fajardo-Anstine

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Marquéz

Of Women and Salt, Gabriela Garcia

Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Hades, Argentina, Daniel Loedel

The Book of Lost Saints, Daniel José Older

Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras

The Labyrinth of the Spirits, Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Mouthful of Birds, Samanta Schweblin

The House of Broken Angels, Luis Alberto Urrea

Songs for the Flames: stories, Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Nonfiction and Poetry

Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges

The Undocumented Americans, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Resistencia: poems of protest and revolution, ed. Mark Eisner & Tina Escaja

Be Recorder, Carmen Giménez Smith

Children of the Land, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

In the Dream House: a memoir, Carmen Maria Machado

Citizen Illegal, José Olivarez

My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor

Beast Meridian, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Unaccompanied, Javier Zamora

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