We’re not shy to tell you how much we love classic Latina authors like Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, and Sandra Cisneros. But there’s an entire generation of authors just getting their start who we want you to know about. From self-reflections to sci-fi, check out these Latina authors as soon as you can get your hands on their books.
This Miami born Cuban American makes her stories very relatable to first generation Latinos in the United States. Her two principal works—Make Your Home Among Strangers and How to Leave Hialeah (winner of the Iowa short fiction prize in 2009) focus on adjustment to college life as a Latina coming of age with a new home in the United States. Now a professor at the University of Lincoln in Nebraska, Crucet is a reflection of the characters she has written about in her pieces.
Writing in both English and Spanish, Luiselli highlights her diverse upbringing in her background as the daughter of Mexico’s Ambassador to South Africa. In her latest non-fiction piece—Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions—she talks about her experiences volunteering with refugee children who risked their lives crossing into the US.
Best known for her 2013 work—The Girls in My Town—Morales delves into coming of age stories across generations both within her family and in the local community in L.A. She still resides in southern California where she is working on her next set of personal essays.
Re-inventing magical realism, Cabeza-Vanegas uses Spanish linguistics, Colombian myths, and her own family history not to tell her story, but rather to figure out what her story is in the first place. Don’t Come Back was released earlier this year, but we’re expecting lots more to come from this creative powerhouse.
Set in 1960s Ecuador and loosely drawing from her own childhood, Hughes’ latest novel—The Sisters of Alameda Street—highlights a young girl’s quest for identity as she discovers a new world in the wake of her father’s death. Just released in July 2017, the book is already in the top 10 Hispanic American bestsellers on Amazon.
Her 2006 work—The Land of Eternal Love—has become the most widely translated Cuban novel of all time. Chaviano recounts historical tales from across the world, intertwines them, and adds her own touch of fantasy to create a whimsical novel with universal appeal. A seasoned author, she was first published in 1980 and is still going strong in 2017 with her latest, Extraños Testimonios.
New to the writing scene, Leon released her first book—Luck is Just the Beginning—in 2015. While set in historical context in 1940s Puerto Rico, Leon writes in a universal style that exposes the human condition when running into an unexpected streak of luck.
One of few Latina authors to tackle the sci-fi genre, Stephanie’s Extraction series is quite a departure from the other genres covered in this list. While the series is part love story, it’s really about a girl’s quest to serve as a true superhero—saving both her boyfriend and the planet from extinction.
Her debut young adult novel—I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter—was just released in October and is generating quite a hype as a National Book Award Finalist. Before publishing her first novel, Sanchez wrote on a wide variety of topics influenced by her upbringing as a first generation Mexican American.