Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 with These Books by Latinx Authors

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Oprah Daily

When I was an undergraduate in 1982 taking a class on early American literature, the professor, a famous scholar of Whitman and Emerson, announced during his first lecture, “By the middle of the next century, American literature will be dominated by masters with last names such as Álvarez, García, and Díaz.” At the time—when major publishing houses printed maybe a handful of books by Latinx writers a year, and even among the best-read American bibliophiles not many had wandered far beyond the magical Macondo of One Hundred Years of Solitude when it came to Latin American literature—it was a bold and outrageous prophecy. Yet, some three decades still from the date of that prophecy’s culmination, writers such as Cristina García, a National Book Award finalist; Julia Alvarez; Hernan Diaz, and Junot Díaz, a Pulitzer nominee and Pulitzer winner, enjoy a central position in the canon of contemporary American literature. They are paving the way for many of the writers on the list below, and still very much active in producing work that will certainly be incorporated fully into the 21st-century North American canon, as that wise professor predicted.

The works in the list below of the most notable Latinx books that came out in 2022, in hardcover or paperback, cover a wide range of issues and continue to expand the landscape of Latinx fiction from the tip of South America to the inchoate canyons of Wall Street before the Great Depression. All of them, however, deal to some extent with the universal questions of home and the existential themes of shifting identities and realities of the wanderer that have been a hallmark of Western literature since The Odyssey. They also force us as Americans to take a harder look at ourselves and reconsider how these voices that were once considered outsiders are now burnishing our treasured concepts of equality and the majestic poetry of liberty hardwired in the American DNA but too often muted.

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Monkey Boy, by Francisco Goldman


How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water, by Angie Cruz


The Consequences, by Manuel Muñoz


Of Women and Salt, by Gabriela Garcia


Harsh Times, by Mario Vargas Llosa


Cruz, by Nicolás Ferraro


The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, by Mariana Enriquez


What’s Coming to Me, by Francesca Padilla


The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School, by Sonora Reyes


Bless Me, Ultima; Tortuga; Alburquerque, by Rudolfo Anaya


The Mambo Kings & Other Novels, by Oscar Hijuelos


Cuba: An American History, by Ada Ferrer


Solito, by Javier Zamora


The Man Who Could Move Clouds, by Ingrid Rojas Contreras


Brown Neon, by Raquel Gutiérrez


High-Risk Homosexual, by Edgar Gomez

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