Hispanic Americans -- fiction

Playing with Boys

By Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Go to catalog
"[Latinas in their late 20's] take Los Angeles by storm in Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez' delicious new novel. Marcella, Olivia and Alexis have bonded not only over the trouble with men but about how tough it is to make life work in L.A. no matter what you do. Marcella is a hot, young television actress, hardly able to enjoy the life she's bought for herself and certainly not enjoying her body, which is never quite perfect enough.

"Olivia's boy is her toddler son--and she's tethered to him and to her suburban mommy track so tightly the other girls sometimes cringe. Alexis has a smart mouth and an ample body; she's a beautiful musician's manager with loads of style but about enough self-esteem to fill a Prada card case. Her complicated love affair with the casually sexy Cuban rapper Goyo is a deeply satisfying romance that will delight readers almost as much as the emotional richness and girly fun of the heroines' friendship."

Reserve this title

Peel My Love Like an Onion

By Ana Castillo

Go to catalog
Carmen Santos, a flamenco dancer, whose affair with her married director has begun to sour, begins seeing his godson, and a furious love triangle takes shape
Reserve this title

The Night of the Radishes

By Sandra Benítez

Go to catalog
"Annie Rush, a 34-year-old Minnesotan-seems to be living every woman's dream: She has an interesting job, loyal husband, and adorable sons. But just beneath the surface, a series of family tragedies haunts her, including the death of her twin sister more than three decades earlier. Her father, plagued by guilt, shot himself soon thereafter; a few years later Annie's brother Hub Hart left home for good. While they haven't had contact for decades, the death of their mother compels Annie to embark on a search for her lost sibling. Hub's trail takes Annie all the way to Oaxaca, Mexico, a town exuberant with Christmas and the Night of the Radishes celebrations."
Reserve this title

Chango's Fire

By Ernesto Quiñonez

Go to catalog
Julio Santana is an arsonist. For a fee, Julio burns down buildings looked upon as unseemly by investors trying to transform the very face of the Spanish Harlem neighborhood he calls home. Julio has pocketed thousands of dollars from people who want to profit from the forced gentrification of his neighborhood, money he has used to make his parents proud by purchasing them a place of their own. By controlling the flow of those streaming into the neighborhood, the true power players behind this insurance scam have made a fortune.

So when Julio falls in love with Helen, a white woman who just moved into the neighborhood, he makes it his priority to stop setting his own neighborhood ablaze and enter into a life of clean, honest living. Little does he realize that his change for the good has angered his employers and promises to threaten Julio's life, along with the lives of everyone he loves.

Reserve this title

Loving Pedro Infante

By Denise Chavez

Go to catalog

Teresina Avila is a divorced, thirty-something Chicana working in Cabritoville, New Mexico. Her lover will never leave his wife and ties Tere's heart in knots. Her diversions center around her best friend, Irma, and her membership in the Pedro Infante Fan Club. A hilarious and heartrending story about the fictions women weave to justify loving the wrong mate.

Reserve this title

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez

How the Garcial Girls Lost Their Accents

In a reverse chronological sequence of events, Julia Alvarez takes her readers through the immigration experience of the four Garcia sisters: Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Leaving behind a life of privilege surrounded by their large extended family, the four girls move with their Papi and Mami to New York City, and begin the long, never-ending process of assimilating into American culture. The story is as much a coming of age tale as it is a feminist, Latino perspective on American culture, beautifully conveyed with a sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary here and there.

The sisters are adults at the beginning of the book, and going back in time, the reader experiences their divorces, marriages, college years, teenage angst and confusion, and efforts to learn English while attending American public schools. Their father’s involvement in a plot against the dictator, the subsequent investigations by the authorities, and the escape with the help of friends and family are all experienced by the reader alongside Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia. Alvarez did a good job of keeping me hooked. The why’s and the how’s unfold further and further the closer the reader gets to the end of the book--which is actually the beginning of the story.