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Latino Books Month

by Mary Anderson on 2024-05-13T00:00:00-05:00 | 0 Comments

A stack of books with flowers and text: May is Latino Book MonthIn 2004 the Rhode Island Latino Arts/Arte Latino de Rhode Island initiated Latino Books Month. From the beginning it was also sponsored by Association of American Publishers as a way to encourage booksellers, librarians, and teachers to promote books by and for Latino/a Americans. This initiative celebrates Latin American writers, artists, and literature. It seeks to foster literacy while also celebrating the rich culture and heritage.

Latin American literature in the United Sates has historically been dominated by Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans, but more recently those tracing their heritage to the Dominican Republic as well as Central and South America have gained prominence. Latin American literature goes back to the colonial period and even earlier if one includes the indigenous writers. The literature often has come out of political movements, such as the Latin American Wars of Independence in the 19th century, focusing on themes of dissent, identity, and human rights.

The 20th century saw a rise in the prominence of Latino/a literature coinciding with the Civil Rights Movement which  also lead to the establishment of Latino Studies programs in many US colleges and universities. The rise in prominence also coincided with the international success of the literary genre magical realism and its most famous practitioner, Gabriel García Márquez. This was part of a larger literary movement, known as the Latin American Boom. The 21st century has seen continued expansion in Latin American Literature with authors spanning a wide range of schools and styles.

Consider commemorating Latino Books Month by checking out a book for the Loras Library. We have foundational works written by Gabriel García Márquez, Sandra Cisneros, Isabel Allende, and Jorge Luis Borges but also newer works like Trust by Hernan Diaz and The Words that Remain by Ste╠énio Gardel. We also have numerous award winning children’s and young adult books, several of which are part of the displays on the first and third floors of the Library.

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