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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and in order to share Hispanic, Chicano, and Latinx voices and stories more widely, the University of Notre Dame Press has put together a page of some of our most important books in Latinx and Chicano studies.

If you see a book that you think would be good for classroom use, you can request an examination copy here. In a society plagued by injustice and racism, it is our hope that our books can be a powerful resource and force for good in the world.

Barrio Boy is the remarkable story of one boy’s journey from a Mexican village so small its main street didn’t have a name, to the barrio of Sacramento, California, bustling and thriving in the early decades of the twentieth century. With vivid imagery and a rare gift for re-creating a child’s sense of time and place, Ernesto Galarza gives an account of the early experiences of his extraordinary life—from revolution in Mexico to segregation in the United States—that will continue to delight readers for generations to come.

“To re-encounter Barrio Boy by Ernesto Galarza is to indulge in deja vu from the early Chicano Movement concerns about acculturation and identity construction. The genuine story about a boy’s journey reminds many of us of our own trajectory and how we had to negotiate a new ethnic self.

—Francisco A. Lomeli, University of California, Santa Barbara

Pity the Drowned Horses, winner of the first Andres Montoya Poetry Prize, is a poetry collection about place, family, and home, both in the desert southwest on the U.S./Mexico border in El Paso, Texas and within the broader context of the border as both a bridge and a barrier.

“Sheryl Luna’s debut collection, Pity the Drowned Horses, poses several questions about the meaning of ‘home’: is it rooted to a particular place? can we escape it? can we find it elsewhere? once we’ve left, can we return? . . . She circles through various locales and landscapes, including San Francisco, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Prague, and Paris, but like the frayed-wing hawk who drifts through the collection, Luna’s speaker is drawn, slightly battered, back to the desert of her origins.”

—Latino Poetry Review

Winner of the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, The Inheritance of Haunting, by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, is a collection of poems contending with historical memory and its losses and gains carried within the body, wrought through colonization and its generations of violence, war, and survival.

“Restrepo Rhodes’s The Inheritance of Haunting stands out, at least to this reader, as an aesthetically potent and ethically rigorous work with unrivaled incantatory powers. . . . [Its] poetics are akin to a cathartically rich espiritismo séance—and, as a caribeño, I don’t use these words lightly.”

—The Rumpus

Latinos in New York: Communities in Transition, second edition, is the most comprehensive reader available on the experience of New York City’s diverse Latino population. The essays in Part I examine the historical and sociocultural context of Latinos in New York. Part II looks at the diversity comprising Latino New York. 

“Every essay in this volume addresses an important historical, sociological, cultural or public policy issue, each one packed with important new resource for the burgeoning field of Ethnic Studies.”

—Evelyn Hu-DeHart, University of Colora

Of Form & Gather marks the dazzling debut of Felicia Zamora, whose poems concern themselves with probing questions, not facile answers. Where does the self reside? What forms do we, as human beings, inhabit as we experience the world around us?

“The author cleverly incorporates scientific jargon; moreover, the musicality and grace shine through in this trailblazing collection. Zamora is a singular talent and necessary voice in Latinx letters; in American letters.”

—The Poetry Question

Winner of the 2014 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, David Campos’s Furious Dusk is a work whose five parts trace a son’s efforts—only partially successful—to fulfill his father’s expectations and—perhaps even more difficult—understand those expectations enough to forgive them. The poet’s reflections are catalyzed by learning of his father’s impending death, which, in turn, forces him to examine his father’s expectations against his own evolving concept of what it means to be a man.

“David Campos writes tenderly and with compassion about fathers, sons, and the way we become men. He writes with an original voice and fire about race, identity, and nation. He writes lyrics that skirt tightropes of impossible, beautiful contradictions. David is a Fresno poet, an American poet, a Chicano poet, and more. This is an extraordinary book of grace, I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

—Chris Abani, author of Sanctificum and Hands Washing Water

Mirandé offers a detailed examination of Chicano social history and culture that includes studies of: Chicano labor and the economy; the Mexican immigrant and the U.S.-Mexico border conflict; the evolution of Chicano criminality; the American educational system and its impact on Chicano culture; the tensions between the institutional Church and Chicanos; and the myths and misconceptions of “machismo.”

“Rejecting the use of ‘Mexican-American’ as falsely connoting immigrant status, Mirande emphasizes that Chicanos are an indigenous people and that their significant indio/mestizo heritage has been neglected. Attaching the immigrant group model which concentrates on acculturation and assimilation, he discusses Chicano labor, criminality, education, the church, the family, and machismo. . . an interesting and thought-provoking study.”

—Library Journal

Winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, Stepmotherland, Darrel Alejandro Holnes’s first full-length collection, is filled with poems that chronicle and question identity, family, and allegiance. This Central American love song is in constant motion as it takes us on a lyrical and sometimes narrative journey from Panamá to the USA and beyond. 

Stepmotherland is a balm. The lyrics to a melody that has always played in our heads. Holnes gives us the heartbreaking and healing song. A stunning debut.”

—Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming and winner of the National Book Award

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