5 Classics Of Latinx Literature & The Modern Books To Read If You Love Them

By Kerri Jarema

To celebrate Latinx heritage is not only to remember the accomplishments of those who came before you, but to lift up the voices of those who are working and creating right now. While this month is the perfect time to catch up on classic Latinx literature you might have missed, it's also crucial to read Latinx authors whose stories reflect the issues — immigration, identity, legacy — that are important to Latinx today. Why not do both? Below, you'll find five classic Latinx books, and a modern counterpart for each.

Stories of revolution like Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies, coming-of-age tales like Angie Cruz's Dominicana, magical realism love stories like Anna-Marie McLemore's Wild Beauty, profound memoirs of identity like Esmeralda Santiago's When I Was Puerto Rican — these are books that will speak your heart, no matter your desire, and affirm that your stories, your families, your loves are important and worthy of phenomenal art. All 10 books feature complex Latinx characters with touching, thought-provoking, and heart-wrenching stories. This month, set aside some time to get acquainted with the classics, and the books that will soon become the classics: