Happy Latinx Heritage Month! September 15th through October 15th, I’m celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with a series of posts and a Twitter giveaway. Head on over here to check out my giveaway tweet. If you missed out on my previous posts, check them out here:
For this final post I am sharing with you my wish list for books that focus on Latinx characters. There are so many things I’d love to see explored and so many stories I don’t think Latinx authors have had the opportunity to explore. Many of these topics are issues that require both honesty and care and thus I’d like to see authors from within these communities write them. Titles are linked to Goodreads.
1. Retellings – I want all the retellings, but starring Latinx characters. I want the Twelve Latinx Dancing Princesses, a Latina Cinderella and maybe even see The Picture of Dorian Gray reimagined with Latinx protagonist.
2. Witches – I can never have enough witchy books and after reading a few witchy books featuring Latina characters, I now need all the Latinx witch books. I want good witches and bad witches and morally grey witches.
3. Magical Realism – When talking Latinx authors, it should be a given that we get magical realism novels, but aside from a few Latinx YA authors, I don’t see this genre explored enough. I need more Latinx authors writing these books because this is one of my very favorite genres.
4. Mental Health – Talking mental health within the Latinx community requires the kind of nuance you can only get from someone who’s experienced it. It’s a taboo subject that isn’t always easy to talk about, but it needs more attention than it’s gotten.
5. More LGBTQIA+ Representation – I think we’re pretty lucky to have the selection of LBGTQIA+ Latinx novels we have now, especially if you understand homophobia in the Latinx community. This is another one of these issues that I would need to see explored by someone within the community.
6. Fluff – I want to see more Latinx characters being carefree and happy. When I see us in contemporaries, there is always a heavy burden on the protagonist’s shoulders. Sometimes I crave more of a lighthearted read, but finding one with Latinx characters is sometimes difficult.
Example: The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes
7. Historical Fiction – How many historical fiction books have you read that that center Latinx characters? Though I love reading contemporaries that center us, I also want ones that acknowledge that we’ve been here for years, that we’ve mattered, and there are stories of our past that are worth hearing.
8. Afro-Latinx Representaion – Colorism and anti-Blackness are real issues in the community that need to be addressed head on. It’s also important to specifically rally around Afro-Latinx voices because for too long their voices have been ignored.
9. More Racial Diversity – Did you know there are large Arab-Latinx communities in Latin America? What about Asian Latinxs? When’s the last time you came across a book written by an Indigenous Latinx author? Latinx people can be of any race, but, for example, I’ve only ever come across one book featuring an Asian Latinx character (The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo – protagonist’s parents are Korean Brazilian). I’d really like to see all these communities represented.
10. High fantasy – I really can’t think of a Latinx high fantasy that pays homage to our history while simultaneously allowed to explore fantastical worlds. When I think of Latinx characters in fantastical settings, my mind immediately wanders to urban fantasy, but this isn’t the kind I’m thinking for this one. I think a Latinx fantasy novel done right can also function as a commentary on genocide and colonialism both of which are very much a part of Latinx history. I’m basing the following example on the synopsis alone, as it hasn’t been released yet.
Example: Nocturna by Maya Motayne
Have you read any books that explore these topics (please note I am specifically looking for books by Latinx authors)? Any upcoming books that I should be aware of or topics you’d like to see explored more? Let’s discuss in the comments!