With Valeria Luiselli’s poignant Tells Me a How it Ends, a book about young Central American refugees, and novels like Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, which drew attention to violence against women, 2017 was a fantastic year for Latino/Latin American literature (check out the best of last year’s books here). But the start of the new year means there are even more amazing books on the horizon. Between new works from iconic writers to brand new voices playing with form, there’s a lot to look forward to.
Here are five books published in early 2018 that should be on your radar.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
With two months until its release date, the buzz around Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut teen novel is (deafening). With profiles in Teen Vogue and here on Remezcla, The Poet X promises to be a must-read this spring. The book centers around Xiomara, an Afro-Dominican girl growing up in Harlem, caught between her mami’s rules and her own writing. Xiomara goes on to find her own voice, and includes fantastic poetry from Acevedo, a slam poet herself.
Corazón by Yesika Salgado
Everything you need to know about Corazón is on the cover. It’s about love in all its forms – love for friends, family, partners, yourself – and it is utterly and completely the product of Yesika Salgado’s fierce mind. The book is like sitting down with Salvadoran-American Salgado to hear chisme about her search for love.
If you’re anxious to get your hands on Corazón, it’s already out on publisher Not A Cult’s website, but it’ll come to Amazon in 2018.
The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú
Francisco Cantú was just your regular student of international relations and politics, living near the border, until he decided to join the Border Patrol. The Line Becomes a River is Cantú’s own accounts of his time with the Border Patrol, the messy reality of a deeply contested region, and the ethics of working for a government agency that has caused so much harm. For a preview into Cantú’s writing, you can listen to a This American Life piece he did.
Empty Set by Verónica Gerber Bicecci
Authored by “a visual artist that writes,” Empty Set uses both words and diagrams to sort out the messy realities of breakups and families. The result is a subtle narrative wrapped up in a unique reading experience about loneliness, where the short, fragmented text, and simple, black-and-white drawings echo the subject matter perfectly.
Sabers and Utopias by Mario Vargas Llosa
Sabers and Utopias is a book of essays on Latin America by a Nobel Prize winner. Vargas Llosa’s book is a deep dive into Latin American history, with essays on everything from political movements to a rousing defense of Latin American art and culture. This book, from one of the greatest minds working today, is unmissable.