Stop whatever you are doing and run to the nearest bookstore to get your hands on the new Latina Anne of Green Gables. Yes, you read that right. One of the most beloved literary heroines of all time is bursting back onto the scene in a brand new revamp: Canadian Anne (“with an 'E'”) has been reborn as Ana of California (“one n, like fauna”), a Mexican American living in Los Angeles. Whoa.
Author Andi Teran grew up a major Anne of Green Gables fan (weren’t we all?), and when she re-read it as an adult, she couldn’t stop thinking about how everyone’s favorite spunky red-headed orphan (sorry, Annie) would fare in the L.A. foster care system. She knew that Ana had to be just as feminist as Anne, and every bit as strong, but she also needed to be just as relatable to modern readers, to inspire a whole new generation. For that reason (let’s just get the disappointment out of the way quickly), Ana does not break a slate over Gilbert Blythe’s head in this version, because as Teran points out, “that’s just something we would never do.” Touché. What she does do is actually way better: instead of hitting her love interest over the head with a slab of rock, she hits him with her intellect. Bam, I like this Ana a lot already.
Andi Teran is Mexican American herself, and has always felt extra motivated to push herself because of her race and heritage. Just as Anne Shirley worked her ass off to combat being female, parentless, and red-headed (which wasn’t considered as amazingly cool back when she was rocking it), the new heroine Ana Cortez would never let racial prejudice hold her back. In the context of the We Need Diverse Books movement, Anne being rewritten with a Latina heroine is pretty damn cool.
Now why for the love of Gilbert Blythe are you still reading this, when you could be reading Ana of California?!