But what to choose! Although I read In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez several years ago, her novel based on the lives of the Dominican Mirabal sisters merits a second read: murdered in 1960 for participating in the rebellion against despot Rafael Trujillo, Alvarez brings the sisters to life again in this novel that takes us from their convent-educated girlhood in the Dominican Republic through their harrowing final days.
Then there's Music of the Mill by Luis J. Rodriguez, long on my radar and highly recommended by a couple of trusted readers. Set in the Los Angeles barrios it spans 60 years in the lives of the Salcido family, two generations of which work in a mill, including a second-generation son who stands up to those in power at the mill.
I think what I most want to read, though, is The House on Mango Street, published in 1984 and already considered a classic coming of age story. The author, Sandra Cisneros, based the novel on her experiences growing up in Chicago, one of seven children in a family that moved back and forth between Chicago and Mexico. The heroine of the novel is Esperanza Cordero. Here's Esperanza on the subject of her great-grandmother, for whom she is named:
She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn’t be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don’t want to inherit her place by the window.
Below is a list of other fiction titles by Hispanic American authors, all of which the library owns. What are your recommendations or favorites?
The House of the Spirits
In the Time of the Butterflies
Saving the World
Bless Me, Ultima
Peel My Love like An Onion
Loving Pedro Infante
The House on Mango Street
The Heart Break Pill
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
This Is How You Lose Her
Dreaming in Cuban
King of Cuba
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
Parrot in the Oven
Music of the Mill
The Republic of East L.A
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Baseball in April and Other Stories
Into the Beautiful North
Queen of America
Under the Feet of Jesus