Palabra Power: 10 Latina Authors You Need to Know

Credit: BELatina/BrandStar

Every few years when you least expect it a new crop of talented Latina authors who’ve dedicated tumultuous years honing their craft and writing in solitude, finally give birth to debut works that begin to slowly get noticed by U.S. readers and thus catch on fire.

Who are some of these essential Latina writers breaking into the national literary landscape at the moment? The following ten writers have demanded that the world take notice of their fierceness on the page. In the descriptions below you’ll see how the zeitgeist in Latina literature is not only centered on identity anymore but in the world of young adult fiction, science fiction, dystopian futures and fantasy settings. There are also unabashed queer stories, erotica scenes, and even one author writing for Marvel comics about a Latina superhero named none other than America.

2Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado
Photo Credit Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Machado

For those in the literary know, you’ve probably already relished Machado’s short stories in The New Yorker and Granta over the last few years. And when she was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2017 for her internationally critically acclaimed debut fiction collection Her Body and Other Parties, and didn’t win, you might have even cursed the gods. Her debut collection, which focuses on women’s bodies and what they are subject to, includes stories that range across fantasy, fairytale, erotica, and horror. It not only received international attention but it’s currently in development as a series at FX. Now the world is anxiously awaiting her first long form book, In the Dream House (Graywolf, Oct.1 2019), a memoir chronicling a relationship gone bad for Machado. It traces the full arc of her harrowing relationship with a charismatic, but volatile woman and the psychological abuse she endured for years.