Latino Book Review’s List for 2017 Outstanding Latino Authors

How many of these authors did you read in 2017? I’ve got some work to do! 
The year 2017 will definitely be a year to remember. Throughout the year we have witnessed major social and political shifts that have shocked us to the core. Nonetheless, it is times of hardship that will continue to prove the resilience of our community and drive us to express ourselves in the most creative ways. Without a doubt, 2017 has also been a year of important victories for Latino literature, including the court overturn of the infamous Mexican American studies ban in the state of Arizona–thanks to the efforts of people like Tony Diaz and countless other activists who fought a long battle to protect our literature. 2017 was also the year Juan Felipe Herrera finished his second term as the first Latino United States Poet Laureate, the year that novelist Cristina Rivera Garza began the first Creative Writing PhD program in Spanish in the entire nation, as well as the year that Marvel chose Gabby Rivera to write the first comic book about a queer Latina superhero. As we can appreciate–regardless of the obstacles we’ve encountered–there are plenty of remarkable achievements to celebrate when it comes to Latino literature. For these and many other reasons, Latino Book Review has chosen the following 10 writers as this year’s Outstanding Latino Authors–for their excellent work and breakthroughs in today’s literature. 

1.

Angela Cervantes

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Angela Cervantes is an award-winning author. She is the author of Coco: The Junior Novelization(RH/Disney 2017) Her debut book, Gaby, Lost and Found(Scholastic 2013), was named Best Youth Chapter book by the International Latino Book Awards and a Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of 2014. Angela is also the author of Allie, First At Last (Scholastic 2016) and the soon to be available novel, MeFrida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring (Scholastic 2018).

2.

Gabby Rivera

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Gabby Rivera is a queer Latinx writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently writing AMERICA, America Chavez’s solo series, for Marvel. America is Marvel’s first Latina lesbian superhero. Gabby is also the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Juliet Takes a Breath which was listed by Mic as one of the 25 essential books to read for women’s history month.

3.

Juan Felipe Herrera

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Juan Felipe Herrera is the 2015-2017 United States Poet Laureate. He was initiated into the Word by the fire-speakers of the early Chicano Movimiento and by heavy exposure to various poetry, jazz, and blues performance streams. His published works include Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream, Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of the Americas, and Thunderweavers / Tejedoras de Rayos.

4.

Adam Silvera

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Adam Silvera is the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me,and They Both Die at the End. He was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for his debut. Adam was born and raised in the Bronx, and he was a bookseller before shifting to children’s publishing. He has worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for teens, and as a book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels.

5.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the author of winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the American Book Award for his books for adults. the Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award, the Pura Belpre Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

6.

Cristina Rivera Garza

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Cristina Rivera Garza is an award-winning author, translator, and critic. Her books, originally written in Spanish, have been translated into multiple languages. She is the recipient of the Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature (2013), the Anna Seghers-Preis (2005), and the only two-time winner of the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize (2001; 2009). She is currently a Distinguished Professor in Hispanic Studies, and heads the first Creative Writing PhD program in Spanish in the U.S. at the University of Houston.

7.

Isabel Allende

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Isabel Allende was born in Peru and raised in Chile. She is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. She has also written a collection of stories; three memoirs, including My Invented Country and Paula. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

8.

Sandra Cisneros

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Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, whose work explores the lives of the working-class.  Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016.

9.

Julia Álvarez

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Julia Álvarez is a novelist, poet, and essayist. She is the author of nineteen books, including How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies–a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Selection. She has also received other recognitions such as the National Medal of Arts and a Latina Leader Award in Literature in from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

10.

Junot Díaz

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Junot Díaz is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award.
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