Happy Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month! To celebrate, we’ve put together a reading list of books from Chicago and our distributed presses that are written by Hispanic and/or Latino authors. All of the books below are available on our website or at your favorite bookseller.
Big Familia: A Novel by Tomas Moniz
“For readers looking for a taut, deeply resonant contemporary family story, Big family by Tomas Moniz will not disappoint. . . . Without ignoring the ills of society – racially-based police violence, incarceration bias, aggressive gentrification, generational gaps – Moniz creates a highly diverse cast on the verge of transformation. Testing options, pushing comfort zones and welcoming new bonds results in a big family worth getting to know. ”—Shelf awareness
Borderland Apocrypha by Anthony Cody
“Half elegy, half warning, Borderland Apocrypha draws our attention to those who have been continually driven out by violence and legislation, those who still run, those who are not at rest.RHINOCEROS
Emergency: Reading the Popol Vuh in times of crisis by Edgar Garcia
“In this brilliant exegesis, Garcia reveals the Popol Vuh as a living document, a dialogical story of creation crafted under conditions of colonial emergency, which still holds urgent relevance today. Composed of a series of short, lyrical essays on a wide range of topics, Emergency is a thought-provoking commentary essential for anyone interested in this seminal text.Claudia Brittenham, author of The Murals of Cacaxtla: The Power of Painting in Ancient Central Mexico
All I Kept: Todo Lo Que Guardé by Ruth Behar
“Presented in English and Spanish, Behar’s prose lyrics possess a deeply layered sensibility, with deeper layers revealing multiple selves, influences, and most importantly, ways to cope with loss, mortality, to the space in human interaction where intentions are never fully knowable. . . . One might think that Behar is simply exploring the harmful impact of exile, but his lens is more complex and his poetic montages show how the self-reflection generates awakenings and turning points.World Literature Review
Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking: Poems by CT Salazar
“An immense tenderness underlies Salazar’s remarkable first collection. The poems probe the pervasive presence of history, family, place, religion, and grief by emphasizing the multidimensionality and complicated ways we just discussed, for better and for worse. . . . The collection made me think that maybe everything that was lost – beliefs, people, strands of hair in a crow’s nest – could be returned or found, albeit in altered form, and thus survive. . . . A beautiful and open-hearted start.”—Library Journal, starred magazine
Lost Cities Go to Heaven: Ciudades Perdidas Van al Paraíso by Alicia Borinsky and translated by Regina Galasso
“Succinct like a boxer’s blow, the poems of Lost cities go to heaven strike their target with startling precision, often capturing a fleeting moment or thought before moving on to the next piece. Borinsky weaves the political, the personal, the social and the trivial into his verses with equal vigor, unveiling a rich tapestry of life in the contemporary world as a whole.World literature today
macbeth by William Shakespeare and translated by Migdalia Cruz
At Migdalia Cruz macbeth, witches rule the world. The Macbeths live a dark cautionary tale of love, greed and power, falling from glory to calamity as the witches twist their fates. Translating Shakespeare’s language for modern audiences, Nuyorican playwright Migdalia Cruz rewrites Macbeth with Bronx passion.
Making Mexican Chicago: From Postwar Colonization to the Age of Gentrification by Mike Amezcua
“Before Pilsen became home to gallery spaces and Little Village became La Villita, the city’s Mexican population fought for their voices to be heard and for places to live. Amezcua chronicles this decades-long struggle in his fascinating Make Mexican Chicago. . . Throughout this story, Amezcua highlights a myriad of personalities and their transformations.”—Chicago Reader
Nueva Vivienda: new housing paradigms in Mexico Edited by Jesús Vassallo and Sebastián López Cardozo
New Vivienda presents twenty-two outstanding housing projects in Mexico over the past ten years through images, floor plans and sections, accompanied by academic essays providing historical and theoretical context. Presenting a series of conversations between architects, developers and researchers, the book illuminates the local context of these projects, highlighting the new ideas of their designers and their contribution to the reinvention of housing typologies. Additionally, it traces the impact of these ideas beyond Mexico.
Religious Liberty and the American Foundation: Natural Rights and the Original Meaning of the Religious Clauses of the First Amendment by Vincent Phillip Munoz
“Vincent Phillip Muñoz’s superb new book is an indispensable guide to the issue that will soon replace abortion as the most important point of contention in our constitutional law. . . . The relationship between church and state will become the defining concern of a new era in the courts. . . . The framers wrote the religious clauses of our Constitution to set the parameters, as best they could, for a healthy and noble balance between liberty and order. Finding the original meaning of these clauses is essential if we are to restore this balance, and Vincent Phillip Muñoz’s book provides invaluable assistance in this necessary task.Claremont Review of Books
The word spacious: cartography, literature and empire in modern Spain by Ricardo Padron
“Padrón is an incisive critic. . . . The word spacious concentrates a dynamic image of the ideologies at play in the long and complicated “invention” of America. –TLS
Street writings: between God and hip-hop by Alejandro Nava
Nava introduces an intervention on the excesses and shortcomings of two of the main theological movements of the 20th century: Latin American liberation theology and Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of beauty, the via pulchritudinis. He notes how liberation theology has underdetermined beauty as a suspicious distraction from social justice, while beauty theology, in liturgy and beyond, has overdetermined beauty through a fixed cultural lens. . . . . This scholarship and range make the book’s most compelling case for itself.America magazine
Also be sure to check out this video essay on “This is America” and this reading list for the book.
This fierce blood: a novel by Malia Marquez
“Malia Márquez’s intense multi-generational novel incorporates magical realism into its story of three women struggling with family and social expectations. . . . Attentive to the pressures faced by women throughout historical eras, the lush romance This fierce blood shows the power of strong women who stay true to themselves.Foreword Notice
The White Islands / Las Islas Blancas by Marjorie Agosín and translated by Jacqueline Nanfito
“This collection allows the reader to take on this feeling of being a foreigner, opening the reader’s mind to that of the poetess herself. This transferable numiosity makes it a powerful and open work. Ultimately, these poems are prayers, archipelagic, of remembrance – and prayers for a new home, bright white, found at sea.” –Jewish Book Council