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LATINO LIFE 2003:
BOOKS ABOUT THE HISPANIC EXPERIENCE
Booklists for Adults
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* Recommended for Teens

FICTION

The Ballad of Johnny Sosa: A Novel
by Mario Delgado Aparaín.
Johnny dreams of becoming a famous musician while struggling with military oppression in provincial Uruguay.

* Before We Were Free
by Julia Alvarez.
In the early 1960’s in the Dominican Republic, 12-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of Trujillo.

Blood Lake
by K.j.a. Wishnia.
Filomena Buscarsela, Wishnia’s Ecuadorian-American P.I., goes home to Ecuador with her teenage daughter, where she finds that her childhood priest has been murdered.

Burning the Sea: A Novel
by Sarah Pemberton Strong.
Michelle’s search for her roots takes her to the Dominican Republic, where her grandfather lived, in this travel adventure and lament for a lost homeland.

A Cafecito Story = El Cuento del Cafecito
by Julia Alvarez.
This fable about a farmer's son who involves himself in the politics of coffee cultivation is set in the Dominican Republic. In English and Spanish.

Chocolate Sangria: A Novel
by Tracy Price-Thompson.
Juanita and Scooter, two teenage misfits, lead relatively uneventful lives until they meet brothers Conan and Jorge on the bus.

* City of the Beasts
by Isabel Allende.
Fifteen-year-old Alexander joins his fearless grandmother, a reporter for International Geographic Magazine, on an expedition to locate a beast in the Amazon.

* Cuba 15
by Nancy Osa.
Violet begrudgingly accepts her abuela’s plans for her quinceañera, but as she learns more about her Cuban roots, cultures and feelings collide.

The Cuban Prospect: A Novel
by Brian Shawver.
Dennis Birch is a hapless minor league scout sent to Cuba to smuggle out a young pitching phenomenon.

The Dark Bride: A Novel
by Laura Restrepo.
Sayonara, a prostitute in a Columbian barrio frequented by workers from the American-controlled Tropical Oil Company, is the heroine of a humorous yet poignant love story.

Dear First Love: A Novel
by Zoé Valdés.
On the verge of a breakdown, Danae leaves her family in Havana to search for her first love and relives the trauma of a childhood spent in government work camps.

Death in Precinct Puerto Rico: Book Two
by Steven Torres.
Another gripping tale featuring Sheriff Louis Gonzalo.

The Dirty Girls Social Club
by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.
In the years after graduating from Boston University, six Latina friends from widely varied backgrounds meet every six months to dine, share the stories of their everyday lives, and offer advice to one another.

* Drift
by Manuel Luis Martínez.
Newcomer Martinez tells the coming-of-age story of a young Chicano in Texas.

El Paso del Norte: Stories on the Border
by Richard Yañez.
This solidly written debut collection shows the quiet gravity and grace of those whose lives are permanently on the edge.

Feathered Serpent: A Novel of the Mexican Conquest
by Colin Falconer.
Based on true events, the Aztec woman Malinali serves as guide and interpreter for Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and even bears him a son.

* Flight to Freedom
by Ana Veciana-Suarez.
Thirteen-year-old Yara describes life with her family in Havana in 1967 and her experiences as an immigrant in Miami after she leaves her home in Cuba.

Frontera Street
by Tanya Maria Barrientos.
Pregnant and alone, Dee Paxton finds an unlikely friend in Alma Cruz, a single mother living in the barrio of Los Cielos, Texas.

* The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer.
Set in the future, young Matt Alacrán realizes he is the clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old ruler of a drug empire set between the U.S. and Mexico.

The Incantation of Frida K.
by Kate Braverman.
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo looks back on her life as she lies on her deathbed at age 46.

Incas: Book One: The Puma’s Shadow
by A. B. Daniel.
Anamaya, the daughter of an Incan princess and confidante of King Huayna Capec, meets handsome Spanish nobleman Gabriel Montelucar y Flores.

Inez
by Carlos Fuentes.
This book of magic realism involves an orchestra conductor and his passion for a red-haired Mexican diva.

Lands of Memory
by Felisberto Hernández.
This collection features two novellas and four short stories by Uruguayan author Hernández, who is considered to be a “founding father” of magic realism.

Monkey Hunting
by Cristina García.
This saga of 5 generations of a Chinese-Cuban family begins with Chen Pan, who moves from China to Cuba in 1857, and ends with his great-grandson Domingo, who becomes an American citizen after Castro’s revolution.

* Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility
by Patricia Santana.
Santana’s prize-winning novel tells the tender coming of age tale of a young Chicana in San Diego in 1969.

One Hot Summer
by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera.
Margarita Santos Silva, a successful Miami lawyer who’s happily married and just had her first child, is tempted to stray when her college boyfriend appears on the scene.

Precinct Puerto Rico: Book One
by Steven Torres.
Luis Gonzalo, sheriff of Angustias, Puerto Rico, finds himself caught up in a gruesome case when dozens of bodies begin washing ashore.

The Republic of East L.A.: Stories
by Luis J. Rodriguez.
These 12 stories from the barrio feature a philosophizing limo driver, a jealous factory worker, and a grandmother who dances with a watermelon, among others.

Shadow without a Name
by Ignacio Padilla.
This extraordinarily clever historical novel by a prizewinning Mexican author chronicles an intricate history of deception.

The Truth about Alicia and Other Stories
by Ana Consuelo Matiella.
Matiella explores the world of Hispanic women in this debut story collection offering illuminating insight into her characters’ lives.

* What Night Brings
by Carla Trujillo.
This first novel by Trujillo tells of a young Latina lesbian’s painful coming of age in an unhappy and abusive household.

A Whistler in the Nightworld: Short Fiction from the Latin Americas
ed. by Thomas Colchie.
Colchie, a veteran anthologist, brings us a dynamic and relevant collection of contemporary short fiction from several Latin American countries.

The Wise Women of Havana
by José Raúl Bernardo.
Cuba 1938: When young newlyweds Marguita and Lorenzo are forced to move in with their in-laws due to the Great Depression, family tensions cause a rift in their marriage.

HISTORY

Chile: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture
by Nick Caistor.
With separate sections on people, history and politics, the economy, society, and culture, this guide provides a good overview of this South American country. F3059.5.C35 2002x

Culture and Customs of Peru
by César Ferreira and Eduardo Dargent-Chamot.
This is an overview of Peru’s history, people, culture, media, religions, literature and more. F3448.F37 2003

Havana: A Cultural and Literary Companion
by Claudia Lightfoot.
More than just a guidebook, this is an in-depth cultural and historical guide to one of the world’s great cities. F1799.H34L54 2002

Nicaragua: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture
by Hazel Plunkett.
With separate sections on people, history and politics, the economy, society, and culture, this guide provides a good overview of this Central American country. F1523.5.P68 2002x

The Puerto Ricans: A Documentary History
ed. by Kal Wagenheim and Olga Jimenez de Wagenheim.
This comprehensive collection of writings offers many different perspectives on the history of Puerto Rico, with an emphasis on the 20th century. F1971.P79 2002

Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala
by Daniel Wilkinson.
A human rights worker talks to Guatemalan citizens and uncovers the shocking, hidden history of the country’s thirty-six-year civil war. F1466.5.W55 2002x

The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland
by Hugh Thomson.
In this richly descriptive and exciting account, veteran explorer and filmmaker Hugh Thomson traces the history and culture of the lost Inca civilization. F3429.T28 2003

EXPRESSIONS

25 Latino Craft Projects
by Ana-Elba Pavon and Diana Borrego.
Creative activities and recipes for children and families are described, with illustrations. Z718.2.U6P38 2003

Alabanza: New and Selected Poems, 1982-2002
by Martín Espada.
“Alabanza” means “praise”—and that’s just what Espada gives—to African slaves in Puerto Rico, a striking janitor, and Zapatista rebels in this collection of poetry. PS3555.S53A78 2003

Arte: A Contemporary Latin Expression = Una Expresión Latina Contemporánea
Thirty artists from Latin America are profiled by Casa & Estilo Internacional Magazine. The book is in both English and Spanish, and has many illustrations.
N6502.2.A7B4x

Beauty is Convulsive: Poems in Prose
by Carole Maso.
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is the subject and inspiration for these poems by Maso, a Professor of English at Brown University. PS3563.A786B43 2002

Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge
by Cheech Marin.
Over 90 full-color photos of paintings in the collection of actor Cheech Marin are accompanied by brief essays. ND255.M37

Cocinando para Latinos con Diabetes = Diabetic Cooking for Latinos
by Olga V. Fusté.
Over 87 recipes for soups, rice dishes, beans, vegetables, chicken, and desserts are presented in both English and Spanish. RC662.F87 2002

Cuba Style: Graphics from the Golden Age of Design
by Vicki Gold Levi and Steven Heller.
The authors present color reproductions of postcards, tourism advertisements, cigar boxes, music posters, and hotel advertisements from pre-Castro Cuba.
NC998.6.C9L48 2002

Cuban Fire: The Story of Salsa and Latin Jazz
by Isabelle Leymarie.
This book traces the history of Cuban music and its major artists from the 1920s to today. ML3486.C8L313 2002

Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature
edited and with an introduction by Cristina García.
This volume includes stories, essays, poems, and novel excerpts from Havana, Miami, New York, and beyond. PQ7383.5.E5C83

The Devil’s Workshop
by Demetria Martínez.
This Tucson Latina offers poems about the creative and destructive powers of love.
PS3563.A7333337D4 2002

The Edge of Enchantment: Sovereignty and Ceremony in Huatulco, México
by Alicia María González.
The history and culture of the native peoples of coastal Oaxaca are described in their own words, alongside color photographs. F1219.1.O11G655 2002

Eyes to See Otherwise: Selected Poems = Ojos de Otro Mirar
by Homero Aridjis.
Poems by this Mexican author are presented in both English and Spanish.
PQ7297.A8365A24 2002

Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo’s Life and Art to Film
foreword by Hayden Herrera; intro. by Julie Taymor; intro. by Salma Hayek.
Photographs and screenplay from the movie Frida, starring Salma Hayek. PN1997.2.F75 2002x

From the Other Side of Night = Del Otro Lado de la Noche: New and Selected Poems
by Francisco X. Alarcón.
“Alarcón invokes both the mysteries of Mesoamerica and the ‘otherness’ of his gay identity.” PS3551.L22F77 2002

Guide to the Blue Tongue: Poems
by Virgil Suárez.
These poems, many of which feature Caliban from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, evoke the mythical and historical landscape of Cuba. PS3569.U18G85 2002

Home Movies of Narcissus: Poems
by Rane Arroyo.
Arroyo explores themes of his Puerto Rican heritage and his residence in the urban Midwest. PS3551.R722H664 2002x

Inside Havana
by Andrew Moore.
This photographic portrait of Havana juxtaposes its architecture from the turn of the century with its current inhabitants and city life. F1765.3.M66 2002

Landscape with Human Figure
by Rafael Campo.
This collection by Jamaica Plain resident Campo includes “poems that remain unafraid to explore and celebrate his identity as a doctor and Cuban American gay man.” PS3553.A4883L36 2002

Latin American Writers at Work
ed. by George Plimpton.
Interviews from the annals of The Paris Review of Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Luisa Valenzuela, and 7 others have been gathered together in this one volume. PQ7081.3.L38 2003

Latin Dancing
by Dessi and Orod Ohanians.
Learn how to salsa, lambada, and merengue with this photographic guide. GV1976.S245O43 2002x

Letters to a Young Novelist
by Mario Vargas Llosa.
The author of Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and The Feast of the Goat offers this manual for aspiring writers. PQ8498.32.A65C32813 2002x

Making Home in Havana
photographs by Vincenzo Pietropaolo; text by Cecelia B. Lawless.
Photos of the city are placed alongside portraits of residents, many of whom share their thoughts and philosophy of life. F1799.H343P54 2002

Mexican Details
by Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr.
The authors traveled through Mexico and southwestern U.S. to find furniture, architectural elements, and handcrafted accents for home decorating ideas.
NK844 .W55 2003

Mexican Textiles: Spirit and Style
by Masako Takahashi.
Photographs and brief text detail the vibrant colors and patterns of the woven fabrics. NK8914.A1T34 2003

Modern Mexican Flavors
by Richard Sandoval with David Ricketts.
This cookbook offers over 125 contemporary Mexican recipes for drinks, salads, soups, tamales, appetizers, entrees, and desserts. TX716.M4S263 2002

No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López-Colomé
by Pura López-Colomé.
This contemporary Mexican poet offers her spare, searing verses in both English and Spanish. PQ7298.22.O56715A24 2002

Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler
by Juan Felipe Herrera.
This poetry collection from the professor of Chicano and Latin American studies at Cal State Fresno includes the section titles “Chile con Karma” and “Hispanopoly: The Upwardly Mobile Identity Game Show.” PS3558.E74Z4695 2002

Poncho Sanchez’ Conga Cookbook
by Poncho Sanchez with Chuck Silverman.
“Develop your conga playing by learning Afro-Cuban rhythms from the master.” MT663.8.S26 2002x

Secrets of the Ancient Incas: A Modern Approach to Ancient Ritual and Practice
by Michael Peter Langevin.
Learn how to incorporate the teachings, traditions, magic, and mystery of the Incas into everyday modern life. BF1622.I4L36 2002

The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body
by Alberto Ríos.
These magical poems are set in a town that straddles the U.S./Mexico border. PS3568.I587S63 2002

El Toque de Candombe: Ritmo Tradicional Afro-Uruguayo = Traditional Afro-Uruguayan Rhythm
by Hugo “Foca” Machado.
Learn this popular musical style from Uruguay, using the 3 traditional drums: the chico, the repique, and the piano. In English and Spanish. MT655.8.M33 2002

Viva la Vida: Festive Recipes for Entertaining Latin-Style
by Rafael Palomino and Arlen Gargagliano.
Mango and Lime Relish, Sparky Peruvian Potato Salad, and Tuna and Chipotle Burgers are just a few of the over 90 recipes included in this cookbook.
TX716.A1P355 2002

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

Bilingual Education: A Reference Handbook
by Rosa Castro Feinberg.
A professor of education explores the history of bilingual education, curriculums, and related political controversies. She also includes a list of organizations and print and non-print resources. LC3731.F45 2002

Brown: The Last Discovery of America
by Richard Rodriguez.
Rodriguez argues that America has been brown from its inception and reflects on cultural associations of the color. E184.S75R67 2002

Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama: True Stories
ed. by Larry Habegger and Natanya Pearlman.
This is a collection of travel essays by a variety of writers, both well known and unknown. F1433.2.C43 2002

Cuba: From Columbus to Castro and Beyond
by Jaime Suchlicki.
An expert on Latin America reflects on Cuba’s rich and turbulent history and looks at its possible future. F1776.S93 2002

8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes: Specifically Designed for People Who Want to Lose 30 Pounds or More
by Jorge Cruise.
This diet and exercise book written by a weight-loss expert claims you can lose and keep off weight with minimal daily exercise. RM222.2.C77 2003

Enduring Cuba
by Zoe Bran.
Zoe Bran has written a travel memoir based on meetings with writers, artists, expatriates, revolutionaries and those desperate to escape Cuba.
F1765.3.B73 2002x

The Language of Passion: Selected Commentary
by Mario Vargas Llosa.
The noted novelist has compiled this collection of his well-regarded newspaper columns from the 1990s. PQ8498.32.A65L4613 2003

The Latina’s Bible: The Nueva Latina’s Guide to Love, Spirituality, Family and La Vida
by Sandra Guzman.
The former editor of Latina Magazine provides valuable advice, anecdotes, and information on family, sex, and life in general. HQ1421.G89 2002

Latinas in Love: A Modern Guide to Love and Relationships
by Valerie Menard.
A journalist and relationship expert explores the challenges Latinas face in their journey to understand themselves and find the right relationships.
E184.S75M45 2002x

* The Latino Student’s Guide to College Success
ed. by Leonard A. Valverde.
This comprehensive work covers preparing for college, campus life, notable Latinos recounting their experiences, and a directory of the schools that graduate the most Latinos. LC2670.6.H57 2002x

* Latinos at Work
This series comprised of the following titles examines a variety of careers from a Latino perspective and focuses on the experiences of successful Latinos.
Careers in Community Service
Careers in Education
Careers in Entertainment
Careers in Law and Politics
Careers in Publishing and Communications
Careers in Science and Medicine
Careers in Sports
Careers in Technology
Careers in the Music Industry
Latino Entrepreneurs

Living in Spanglish: The Search for a New Latino Identity in America
by Ed Morales.
A journalist and poet examines Latino stereotypes and emphasizes the importance of each culture’s ability to hold onto its heritage while creating a new American cultural identity. E184.S75M667 2002

Mama: Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mothers
by Maria Perez-Brown.
In their own words Latina daughters talk about their relationships with their mothers. E184.S75 P464

Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico
by John P. Schmal and Donna S. Morales.
This guide explores how to research one’s Mexican ancestors. E184.M5S36 2002

More Terrible than Death: Massacres, Drugs, and America’s War in Colombia
by Robin Kirk.
The author weaves together the life stories of a coffee baron, a legendary rebel leader, an outlaw paramilitary chief, and a small town human rights leader and their connection with the United States. HV5840.C7K57 2003

The New Face of Baseball: The One-Hundred-Year Rise and Triumph of Latinos in America’s Favorite Sport
by Tim Wendel.
An award-winning journalist explores the role of Latinos throughout baseball’s history. GV865.A1W46 2003

Puro Border: Dispatches, Snapshots & Graffiti from La Frontera
edited by Luis Humberto Crosthwaite, et al.
This startling collection of essays by journalists, academics, writers, and artists on the Mexican-U.S. border takes a harsh look at life, inequality, and injustice there. F787.P87 2003

Salud: A Latina’s Guide to Total Health
by Jane L. Delgado.
A health care advocate and psychologist provides scientific and medical information on health related issues. She includes resources of particular interest to Latinas. RA778.4.H57D45 2002x

Searching for El Dorado: A Journey into the South American Rain Forest on the Tail of the World’s Largest Gold Rush
by Marc Herman.
A journalist juxtaposes the myth of El Dorado, the hidden city of gold, with the present-day reality of those scrambling for every extractable ounce of the precious metal. F2373.H47 2003

This is Cuba: An Outlaw Culture Survives
by Ben Corbett.
Corbett has written a colorful first-person account of living on the fringes of Castro’s Cuba. HN203.5.C67 2002

Waiting for Bebé: A Pregnancy Guide for Latinas

by Lourdes Alcañiz.
An award-winning health journalist and radio personality explores the unique concerns that Hispanic women confront during pregnancy. RG525.A43 2003

BIOGRAPHY

* 100 Hispanic-Americans Who Shaped American History
by Rick Laezman.
This book offers short, interesting biographies of Hispanic men and women from the 15th century through the early 21st century. E184.S75L34 2002x

The Blindfold’s Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth
by Dianna Ortiz with Patricia Davis.
Sister Dianna Ortiz, an American Ursuline nun, was abducted and tortured while on a mission in Guatemala. She went on to become a human rights activist and advocate for torture victims. BX4705.07183A3 2002

César Chávez: A Brief Biography with Documents
ed. by Richard W. Etulain.
Labor organizer and founder of the National Farm Workers Association, Chávez is remembered here in his own words, in those of his contemporaries, and by historians. HD6509.C48C47 2002x

The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War
by Gioconda Belli.
Nicaraguan poet and novelist Belli shares memories of her life, including twenty years as one of the Sandinistas. PQ7519.2.B44Z47413 2002x

Gritos: Essays
by Dagoberto Gilb.
In these autobiographical pieces, Gilb reminisces about various parts of his life, including growing up in L.A. as a mixed-race son of a beautiful Mexican mother. PS3557.I296G75 2003

Infinite Refuge
by Virgil Suárez.
Cuban-American author Virgil Suárez describes his family’s emigration from Cuba to the United States and the resulting family disintegration and cultural shock.
PS3569.U18Z75 2002

Lalo: My Life and Music
by Lalo Guerrero and Sherilyn Meece Mentes.
This memoir covers the 60-year career of the superstar bandleader from his childhood years in Tucson's Barrio Libre to his rise to fame as a Spanish- and English-language recording artist. ML420.G88A3 2002

My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey through Chile
by Isabel Allende.
The author of Eva Luna and The House of the Spirits recalls her journey from her beginnings in Santiago to her present-day life in the U.S.
PQ8098.1.L54Z46713 2003

No Borders: A Journalist’s Search for Home
by Jorge Ramos.
Ramos, an award-winning anchorman for Univision who emigrated from Mexico 20 years ago, details the struggles he faced as a Latino journalist and his sense of being a foreigner in the U.S. PN4874.R25A3 2002bx

The Underground Heart: A Return to a Hidden Landscape: Essays
by Ray González.
Mexican-American González, a University of Minnesota English professor, returns to the southwestern U.S. to rediscover the land of his past. PS3557.0476Z478 2002

An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal, or, How I Became the Most Hated Hispanic in America
by Linda Chavez.
Chavez, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, describes her political journey from the Young People’s Socialist League to the Reagan wing of the Republican Party. E840.8.C435A3 2002

Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy
by Carlos Eire.
In this memoir, Yale professor Eire describes his early life in Cuba, before Castro came to power, as well as the events following his escape to Miami at age 11. E184.C97E37 2003

Compiled by Joanne Bogart, General Library, Adult Services, Cynthia Dromgoole, Mattapan Branch, Becky Manos, Parker Hill Branch, Amy Manson, Chairperson Connolly Branch, Andy Schmidt, Honan-Allston Branch, Boston Public Library, 2003

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