Best Fiction of the Last Decade by Latinx Authors

Is your literary world teeming with the philosophical tellings of Jorge Luis Borges and the magical musings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? How about the lilting lyricism of Isabel Allende or the haunting intimacy of Ingrid Rojas Contreras? 

Then step right up, because we’ve got a treat for you. 

What lies ahead are Literati’s picks for the best works of fiction crafted by Latinx authors in the last decade. 

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

Image source: https://www.amazon.com/Afterlife-Julia-Alvarez/dp/

Antonia Vega is reconciling with her husband’s untimely death and her sister’s mysterious disappearance when a pregnant, undocumented teenager unexpectantly appears on her doorstep. With literature as her north star, the retired English teacher is challenged to explore worlds beyond those written on pages. 

Julia Alvarez emerges in force in her newest debut, Afterlife. The celebrated author has also gifted readers with In the Time of the Butterflies and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. And she keeps on giving…

What makes this book wonderful:

  • Fabulously and beautifully written
  • Unique introspection into a woman’s grief
  • Deep, dedicated familial love
  • Thought-provoking themes around immigration

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Image source: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-had-me-at-hola-alexis-daria/

Smoldering looks between two headstrong romantic figures? The devastating drama of soap opera tropes? Find all of this and more in You Had Me at Hola, a tantalizing bilingual rom-com with a telenovela twist. 

After a tabloid-worthy breakup, telenovela leading lady Jasmin Lin Rodriguez must restrategize. She travels to New York City to film a much-awaited telenovela. Much to the readers ole!, chemistry develops both on-screen and off between Jasmin and her hunky co-star Ahston in this humorous soap-opera rendering. 

What makes this book wonderful:

  • Passionate romance sustained with strong character dynamics
  • Delightful and glamorous settings
  • A spunky female protagonist
  • Jane the Virgin—but make it a book

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

Image source: https://www.amazon.com/House-Impossible-Beauties-Novel/dp/0062676970

The House of Impossible Beauties takes place amongst the glitz and glam of the 80s-era New York City drag world. The Harlem ball scene is flourishing when Angel falls madly for Hector, an alluring dancer with a dream of stardom. 

Collectively, they form House of Xtravaganza—the first-of-its-kind, all-Latinx house within the Harlem ball circuit. When Hector tragically dies of AIDS, Angel recruits a team of mismatched whippersnappers to continue the legacy.

What makes this book wonderful:

  • An inclusive repertoire of queer characters
  • A brilliant blend of fact and fiction
  • Powerful storytelling that informs the reader of many realities
  • A story that sings with energy 

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Image source: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/555091/fruit-of-the-drunken-tree-by-ingrid-rojas-contreras/

With Colombia’s political upheaval as its backdrop, this novel follows the Santiago family as they navigate the violence taking place outside their neighborhood walls. When seven-year-old Chula meets their new live-in maid, Petrona, a saga of secrecy begins. Told between the alternating narratives of Chula and Petrona, two coming-of-age stories emerge victoriously. 

What makes this book wonderful:

  • A seamless telling of two perspectives
  • Based on the author’s own childhood experiences
  • Comparable to the work of Isabel Allende and Gabrial Garcia Marquez
  • Vivid storytelling that depicts 1990s Colombia 

After the Winter by Guadalupe Nettel

Image source: https://www.amazon.com/After-Winter-Guadalupe-Nettel/

Nettel weaves an unusual romance that begins with two divergent tales: one of a young Mexican woman in Paris, outfitted with a curious fascination for the funerals that take place outside her apartment, and the other of a conflicted and flawed man in New York, prone to desperate control and in a relationship with a woman 15 years his senior. When their paths cross a flawed romance inevitably begins. 

What makes this book wonderful:

  • Lived-in characters who are experts in the art form of wistful longing 
  • Insightful explorations into two people’s reckoning with trauma
  • Moody and heart-wrenching (although, romantic, nonetheless)

Weave Your Literary Tapestry with Literati

Latinx literature is a tapestry unto itself, interwoven with vast perspectives across extensive genres and themes. Above is only an introduction to all that Latinx authors have shared with readers in the last decade. 

Weave your own literary tapestry alongside Literati. We offer a selection of book clubs for adults spearheaded by extraordinary authors, leaders, and visionaries. Whether you want to dive into the mind of Richard Branson or Malala Yousafzai, Literati has you covered. Find your next favorite read today, with Literati!

Sources: 

Wikipedia. Latin American Literature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_American_literature#Romanticism,_Realism,_Naturalism,_and_Emerging_Literary_Trends

My Domaine. 20 Life-Altering Books by Latino Authors Everyone Should Read. https://www.mydomaine.com/7-life-altering-books-by-latino-authors-everyone-should-read-this-year-4770350 

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