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Culture

13 Must-Read Books by Latinx Authors Out in 2021

It’s only March and we already have so many books by Latinx authors on our book wish list. From debut novels to new books from the legendary Chilean author Isabel Allende, for example, there’s no shortage of new reads to get lost in. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the new releases out there, we compiled 13 highly anticipated books by Latinx authors of 2021 that showcase a variety of storytelling and styles.

From a love letter to women of color, a collection of voices across the Latinx diaspora, a memoir, a macabre novel about bringing Selena Quintanilla back to life, to young adult novels all about love, friendship, and finding yourself — these books are all must-reads.

For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez (September 7, 2021)

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Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez, founder of Latina Rebels, arms women of color with the tools and knowledge they need to dismantle and challenge oppressive institutions with her first book, For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts. The Nashville-based Nicaraguan writer is constantly using her voice and platform to challenge and inform her community to not only be better people, but better allies, and to continue to fight against sexism, racism, and other issues that continue to plague Latinx communities.

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed: 15 Voices from the Latinx Diaspora by Saraciea J. Fennell (September 14, 2021)

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Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed, edited by “The Bronx Is Reading” Founder Saraciea Fennell, features 15 voices from the Latinx diaspora. It’s a collection perfect for young adult readers and older generations to learn more when it comes to interrogating the different myths and stereotypes about the Latinx community. You’ll read personal essays and poems from award-winning contributors including Elizabeth Acevedo, Cristina Arreola, Naima Coster, Janel Martinez, and more.

The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende (March 2, 2021)

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The iconic and mega-successful Chilean author Isabel Allende needs no introduction. The New York Times bestselling author of The House of Spirits is blessing us once more with The Soul of a Woman, which is part guide and part memoir. exploring womanhood, feminism, parenting, and love.

What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster (March 2, 2021)

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From the author of Halsey Street, this riveting novel explores themes of legacy and identity and the ways that race affects our relationships. It follows Gee and Noelle, two students affected by school integration in North Carolina where Black stories are brought into a predominantly white high school. The story spans 20 years and centers on identity, family, and race so prepare for a thought-provoking read.

The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore (March 16, 2021)

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The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore is a beautiful story about trauma and healing with elements of magical realism she’s become known for. The book tackles the heavy topic of sexual assault with two teens, Ciela and Lock, who develop a friendship with Ciela soon realizing they share the same trauma caused by the same person. McLemore includes signature magical elements including a possibly-magical pastelería and Lock’s secret forest of otherworldly trees. If you love YA fantasy mixed with real-world issues this is the book for you.

Of Women and Salt by Gabriel Garcia (March 30, 2021)

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Of Women and Salt is the debut work of Gabriela Garcia about a mother and her daughter both making sense of their own choices and past experiences that have shaped them to be the women they are today. The two further unpack a family legacy that began in Cuba before either of them was born.

Dreaming of You by Melissa Lozada-Oliva (October 26, 2021)

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Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s Dreaming of You, a novel in verse, is all about loss, longing, and identity crises following a poet who resurrects the Queen of Tejano, Selena Quintanilla, from the dead. Lozada-Oliva is also the author of Peluda, a personal and unapologetic exploration of the relationship between femininity and body hair which also looks at the intersection of Latinidad, immigration, and family. 

My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hude (April 6, 2021)

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Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes is well known for writing the book for the musical In The Heights, and now she’s sharing her story with My Broken Language. Hudes’ memoir tells a coming of age story against the backdrop of a Philadelphia barrio and shares with us the beauty of her Puerto Rican family.

Oculta by Maya Motayne (April 6, 2021)

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If you’ve already read Maya Motayne’s Los Angeles Times bestseller Nocturnal and were left wanting more, then get ready for this exciting sequel. Oculta, the sequel to Nocturna, is about a face-changing thief and a fearless prince who need to reunite when a deadly enemy threatens their kingdom.

Thirty Talks Weird Love by Alessandra Narváez Varela (June 8, 2021)

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If you’re a fan of The House on Mango Street and The House of Spirits, this book is for you. Born and raised in Cuidad Juárez, México, Alessandra Narváez Varela is blessing us with her debut novel about a 13-year-old girl growing up in Mexico who is visited by her 30-year-old future self (think 13 Going On 30…) This beautiful debut is also written in verse and a powerful read for young adults.

Cazadora by Romina Garber (August 17, 2021)

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Romina Garber’s follow-up to Lobizona is a beautiful and enriching story that continues to weave Argentine folklore and current events into a haunting and romantic story that will have you enthralled from beginning to end. While Lobizona has Manuela Azul discovering her roots while on the run as an undocumented immigrant after her mom is arrested by ICE, Cazadora revisits Manu and her friends after she’s discovered the magic of her ancestry.

One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite (January 5, 2021)

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One of the Good Ones by the sister-writer duo Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite tries to tackle a loaded question: “Shouldn’t being human be enough?” The book is a powerful exploration of the lasting impact of prejudice and focuses on the undeniable importance of sisterhood and what it truly means to be an ally to folks from marginalized communities.

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado (February 2, 2021)

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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is Crystal Maldonado’s debut young adult novel exploring young love, fatphobia, radical self-love, and the struggles teenage girls, particularly Latinx, deal with when it comes to body image. Charlotte “Charlie” Vega’s typical teenage struggles are compounded by her internal struggle with her body along with the pressure she gets from her mom to lose weight. When she begins to explore love and relationships she’s forced to confront her pain in order to learn how to love herself and let love in.