‘Our Shadows Have Claws’ Book Features Monsters from Latin America — From Corpo-seco to La Patasola

Lead Photo: Art by Alan Lopez; Illustration by Ricardo López Ortiz
Art by Alan Lopez; Illustration by Ricardo López Ortiz
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While La Llorona might be one of the most familiar Latine spooky stories that pass from generation to generation, it’s far from the only one that comes from our communities. In the 2022 anthology book, Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Latin American Monster Stories, audiences are introduced to several lesser-known monsters and mythological creatures from a host of Latine storytellers.

Compiled and edited by authors Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortiz and illustrated by Ricardo López Ortiz, the book is a must-read for anyone who has always been fascinated with things that go bump in the night.

“On behalf of the incredible team behind Our Shadows Have Claws, thank you for giving our (monster) stories a chance,” Ortiz tweeted. “Now, let’s make sure to keep boosting Latine voices all year long.”

The cross-genre anthology offers “something for every monster lover,” the publisher’s description reads – from bloodthirsty vampires to a creepy character known as “El Viejo de la Bolsa,” who snatches kids from their beds.

The book also has dark and magical stories about ghost-witches and wolf-gods, which seem far more interesting than an average poltergeist lurking in the closet. Set across Latin America, the collection of narratives offers “bold, imaginative stories of oppression, grief, sisterhood, first love, and empowerment.”

The contributing authors to Our Shadows Have Claws are Chantel Acevedo, Courtney Alameda, Julia Alvarez, Ann Dávila Cardinal, M. García Peña, Racquel Marie, Gabriela Martins, Yamile Saied Méndez, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, Claribel A. Ortega, Amparo Ortiz, Lilliam Rivera, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Ari Tison, and Alexandra Villasante.