2019 is shaping up to be an absolutely fantastic year for las letras Latinas. With new works from favorite writers and new favorites to discover, there’s a little bit of everything on this list. Through short stories, novels, YA, and poetry, we’re seeing authors deal with bigger themes: immigration, inequality, the border, and machismo.

Here’s a list of our recommendations, but it’s important to know that this is just scratching the surface – there’s tons more incredible books by Latinx authors both familiar and not yet to be discovered.

1

Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell

Release Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Riverhead

If you read 2017’s Fever Dream, you might guess what’s ahead in Schweblin’s first English-language collection of short stories. Dark, unsettling images, a sort of half-fevered, all-dazed awareness of the world outside. Schweblin is an absolute master, and Mouthful of Birds promises to be the same.

2

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Release Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Knopf

Tell Me How It Ends was Valeria Luiselli’s non-fiction book-essay about the child migration crisis during the Obama years, and her follow up, Lost Children Archive, tells a fictional version of a similar story. A family road trip to the American Southwest turns into an elegy on bearing witness – both to the last of the Apache Indians, and to children crossing the desert on their own. The book is also speckled with passages from a kind of faux-novel that use fragments from other literatures of immigration and travel to imagine the lives of children riding La Bestia North.

3

Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A YA novel that features a girl gang called “Las Mal Criadas” roaming a dystopian, post-apocalyptic city, faced with cruel choices as they try to stay alive. This sounds so cool on premise alone that it hardly seems necessary to say anything else, but what Rivera is doing here goes way beyond concept – she explores deeper ideas about society, trust, and trauma, rendering this not only a thrilling, beyond-badass read, but also an illuminating one.

4

Native Country of the Heart by Cherrie Moraga

Release Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: FSG

Cherrie Moraga’s name might seem familiar to you – she’s maybe best known for co-authoring A Bridge Called my Back with Gloria Anzaldúa, and she’s a long-time Mexican-American activist and author. In her new memoir, she writes about her relationship with her mother, and the Mexican diaspora at large.

5

Sabrina & Corina by Kalli Fajardo-Anistine

Release Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: One World

Sabrina & Corina is Kalli Fajardo-Anistine’s debut book, and she’s already garnered high praise from the likes of Sandra Cisneros and Julia Alvarez. Set in and around Denver, each of the short stories in this collection focuses on Latinas of Indigenous descent and their relationships, loves, and fears.

6

Lima::Limon by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press

Lima::Limon, Macho::Hembra, U.S.::Mexico. Scenters-Zapico draws poetry out of painful dualities, pulls lyric out of fraught dichotomies. Her second poetry book, much like her first, not only bears witness to darkness, but puts out a call for more light. A book to visit and revisit.

7

The Wind that Lays Waste by Selva Almada, translated by Chris Andrews

Release Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Graywolf Press

Selva Almada explores themes of faith, intimacy, and morality through the story of an itinerant preacher and his teenage daughter, whose car breaks down and forces them into the company of a garage owner and his assistant.

8

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Release Date: expected October 2019
Publisher: Graywolf Press

Her Body and Other Parties took the world by storm two years ago, and Carmen Maria Machado is back again this year with something a little different – a memoir about her time in an abusive relationship with another woman. We’re a little far out from publication, so there’s not a whole lot of information yet, but if it’s anything like Machado’s other work, it promises to be absolutely stunning and thoughtful.