Books By Latino Authors: 12 Great Titles

Posted on Mar 14, 2024

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Written by Sarah Rexford

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Some of the best books ever written are books by Latino authors. You may have heard the opening sentences of some of these famous books, or maybe you have a well-worn title sitting on your bookshelf. 

Today, we dive into books by Latino authors. First I tackle fiction, and next nonfiction. This ensures that no matter what genre you prefer to write, I have you covered! 

A brief note: While fiction vs nonfiction sometimes differ in writing techniques, nonfiction rules can apply to fiction, and vice versa. As you read through the lists, notice how memoirs incorporate fiction storytelling techniques.

Books By Latino Authors: What’s Covered

Fiction: Books By Latino Authors

This first half of our list covers six fiction books by Latino authors. Some titles you may recognize, others you may need to add to your to-read list. 

1. Trust, Hernan Diaz 

This Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling novel is a beloved favorite among readers. The Guardian describes it as a “playful portrait of a Gatsby-like tycoon.”

2. Don Quixote,  Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra 

Don Quixote is known as the first modern novel, a feat that is astounding all by itself. Additionally, it was nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s, The Great American Read. With experimental writing and a literary playfulness, writers can take copious lessons from this novel. 

3. House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende’s debut novel, House of the Spirits, established her as “one of the world’s most gifted storytellers.” Her novel spans generations and a myriad of emotions spreading across love and politics, yet somehow, she weaves them all together.

4. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

Writers have used Gabriel García Márquez’s opening line as a standout example of a sentence to start a novel: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” 

Márquez’s writing is so beloved that he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

5. Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia earned her place among authors in her New York Times bestselling novel set in the Mexican countryside. This novel stars a smart, willful, amateur sleuth whose newly-wed cousin summons her help. 

6. Our Lady of the Assassins, Fernando Vallejo

Written by Fernando Vallejo and translated by Paul Hammond, this novel takes place in Medellin, Colombia. Focusing on the drug trade, Vallejo uses the setting to tell the stories of those who are often overlooked including beggars, thieves, and addicts. 

Nonfiction: Books By Latino Authors

Let’s move into nonfiction books by Latino authors, many of which are memoirs. This list can be seen as a supplement to our post on best books in memoir and biography. Add these titles to your list to learn the nuance of how to write a great memoir

7. The Distance Between Us, Reyna Grande

Reyna Grande’s memoir is a National Book Critic Circle Award finalist. In this vulnerable telling of her childhood, Grande shares the stories of life between Mexico and the United States. Her writing infuses her experience of both fear and hope for a compelling read.

8. “The Hurting Kind,” Ada Limón

Ada Limón earned her place as the 24th poet laureate of the US through her book of poems. 

Through her poetry, Limón answers questions such as what it means to be: 

  • The hurting kind? 
  • Sensitive to pain?
  • Sensitive to joys?

Known for its twists, turns, and profound insights, Ada Limón will capture you with her poetry. Her self-reflections create a deep look at what it means to be the hurting kind.

9. Ordinary Girls, Jaquira Diaz

Winner of the Whiting Award and a Lambda Literary Awards finalist, Jquira Diaz’s story is known as a “searing memoir.” The difficult subject matter makes her coming-of-age journey that much more triumphant. Enter her story in the housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach and follow her journey from there.

10. My Broken Language, Quiara Alegria Hude

Readers know Quiara Alegria Hude for writing the book for the musical, In the Heights. However, her tone spans genres. In her Pulitzer Prize winning memoir, Quiara Alegria Hude shares her story of fighting to become an artist. 

11. Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy, Carlos Eire

Carlos Eire’s memoir centers on the repercussions of the Cuban Revolution. Airlifted out of Cuba in 1962 at just 11-years-old, without his parents and completely alone, Eire’s story is one of survival. In fact, Eire was just one of 14,000 children airlifted out.

His compelling story covers the theme of exile: exile from his immediate family, his own country, and forced out of childhood at an extremely young age.

12. Always Running, Luis J. Rodríguez

Luis J. Rodríguez’s memoir is not only the winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, but also hailed as a New York Times notable book. He shares his story of being a young Chicano gang member who must learn to live on the dangerous streets of LA. 

What Is A Famous Book By A Latino Author?

One Hundred Years of Solitude still stands as one of the most famous books by Latino authors. Originally published May 1 of 1967, writers still reference this iconic novel today. 

The author knew how to write a book that would become timeless. Whether you are writing a book for the first time or simply wanting to learn from successful authors, put this book at the top of your list of books by Latino authors. 

Not only is this novel well-written, but the author incorporates themes that pertain to today as well. With this in mind, let’s take a quick dive into the author’s life. 

Who Is The Most Famous Latino Writer?

Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, propelled him to land among some of the most famous authors. 

Not only is his opening line captivating, but his writing demonstrates profound lessons to aspiring authors and successful ones alike. 

A Colombian author, known as Gabo, he was the first Colombian to ever win a Nobel Prize. His writing focuses on magical realism. 

Writers can study his work to learn how to incorporate the following together:

  • Grounding details
  • Fantastical elements 

An author who covered a theme uniquely apropos to today, Márquez’s literary exploration of solitude was perhaps before his time. His 1982 winning of the Nobel Prize was well-earned. 

Books By Latino Authors: Your Next Step

This is a brief look at some of the best books by Latino authors. In other articles, we’ve covered the best books by black authors, best kids books of all time, best books in self-help, and more.

Hopefully, this list has inspired you. Now that you have a list of great books to motivate your writing, it’s time to get to writing. Ready to get started writing your own book?

Use our free Book Outline Generator to help you get a jump-start drafting your manuscript. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, this tool can help you take that next step toward your author dream!

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