A few years ago, I wrote this post in response to a New York Times about the lack of Latino authors and books for children.
My father used to work in a book factory and our home was filled with books. And yet not a single one was written by a Latino. I was a book worm and grew up on Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I discovered the world of Latino literature. Reading Esmeralda Santiago’s When I Was Puerto Rican changed the landscape of my literary life. And after reading it, I was desperate for more books by Latino writers.
Contrary to what big publishers and book stores believe – Latinos do read. And we are very eager to see ourselves within the pages of a book. Our stories are just as valuable and needed as anyone else’s. Our stories often have the same themes as other books written by white authors.
When Nobel Prize winning author, Gabriel García-Márquez died last month Jonathan Kandall of the New York Times celebrated his accomplishments.
Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal.