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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month library displayOctober 01, 2020 - Autumn Mortenson

Join the Riley-Hickingbotham Library and La Fuerza, Ouachita's Latinx multicultural organization, in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month through Oct. 15 as we recognize and honor the contributions of Hispanic Americans.

In addition to the events hosted by La Fuerza, you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by seeing the world through the eyes of great characters created by Latinx writers. Ouachita's Riley-Hickingbotham Library is spotlighting four novelists you should read in the next 30 days. Check out books by Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Anna-Marie McLemore, as well as books from other notable Latinx authors from our month-long display in the library’s lobby.

Week of September 14:

This week's featured author is Gabriel García Márquez, who Time magazine recognized as "one of the greatest living storytellers."[1]

García Márquez was born in Columbia, and many of his novels, including "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera," reflect the political upheaval he experienced there.[2] In 1982, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his book "One Hundred Years of Solitude," and he has often been compared to William Faulkner for his elaborate style and Ernest Hemmingway for his choice of themes and journalistic techniques.[3]

Why should you read his books? Although not the first to use magical realism, García Márquez was a master of combining elements of the political and historical reality of South and Central America with the fantastic to create an enchanting dream-state for his novels. His books are a triumph of craftsmanship, in my opinion!

Marquez 100 Years      Marquez Cholera      Marquez General      Marquez Kidnapping      Marquez Love and Other Demons

Week of September 21:

Award-winning and prolific author Isabel Allende is this week's featured author. Allende's first book, "House of Spirits," was one of the best books of 1988 and, according to one critic, was "one of the best novels … [offering a] major contribution to our understanding of societies riddled by ceaseless conflict and violent change. It is a great achievement, and it cries out to be read."[4]

Like García Márquez, Allende uses lyrical writing and magical realism to craft stories of high drama and political revolution. However, she has also written memoirs, romances, thrillers and historical novels.

Last year, Allende published her latest novel, "Long Petal of the Sea," a historical drama that follows a displaced couple as they try to find a new place to call home after being forced to flee for their lives. As Allende has said, "I didn't plan to write about refugees, but the conversations are all around us, and it just seeps into my books."[5]

Additionally, Allende has turned her pen to creating magical worlds for young adults in her "City of Beasts" series, which is action-packed and uses themes of good and evil to explore issues of environmental preservation.[6] Pair this book with Daniel José Older's series, "Shadowshaper," for magical realism that takes place in an urban setting.

City of Beasts     House of the Spirits     Ines of My Soul     Long Petal of the Sea     My Invented Country     Paula


Week of September 28:

This week’s featured Hispanic author is a must-read for fans of mystery and horror!

Carlos Ruiz Zafón's novels display his expertise as a screenwriter and cinematographer.[7] One reviewer for the Chicago Tribune said of Zafón's first novel, "The Shadow of the Wind," that "this novel has it all: seduction, danger, revenge and a mystery that the author teases out with mastery. Zafón has outdone even the mighty Charles Dickens."[8]

Indeed, "The Shadow of the Wind" is the second most successful Spanish novel after "Don Quixote."[9]

Zafón's young adult series, "Mist," has been compared with works by Stephen King[10]— they both create deliciously spine-tingling worlds where horror and fantasy collide.

Angel's Game     Marina     Midnight Palace     Prince of Mist     Wind

Week of October 5:

This week we are celebrating nonfiction authors who share the Latinx experience with their readers. All of the books mentioned below offer readers a deeper understanding of Latinx culture.

Authors like Valeria Luiselli ("Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions"), Richard Rodriguez ("Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez"), Joshua Davis ("Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream") and Esmeralda Santiago ("When I Was Puerto Rican" and "Almost a Woman") share personal or individual stories and experiences.

Other authors like Francisco Cantú ("The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border"), Jorge Durand and Douglass S. Massey ("Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States") and Robert Chao Romero ("Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity") describe broader experiences.

Hunger of Memory     Spare Parts     When I was Puerto Rican     Almost a Woman     Miracles on the Border

 

Autumn Mortenson

By Autumn Mortenson, assistant professor and circulation/reference librarian

 

 

 

[1] "Gabriel Garcia Marquez." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2014. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000035213/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=85800d2e. Accessed 7 Sept. 2020.

[2] "Gabriel Garcia Marquez." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2014. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000035213/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=85800d2e. Accessed 7 Sept. 2020.

[3] "Gabriel Garcia Marquez." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2014. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000035213/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=85800d2e. Accessed 7 Sept. 2020.

[4] "Isabel Allende." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2019. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000330856/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=5c77e0b1. Accessed 6 Sept. 2020.

[5] "Isabel Allende." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2019. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000330856/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=5c77e0b1. Accessed 6 Sept. 2020.

[6] "Isabel Allende." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2019. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000330856/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=5c77e0b1. Accessed 6 Sept. 2020.

[7] “Carlos Ruiz Zafón.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Ruiz_Zaf%C3%B3n. Accessed 6 Sept. 2020.

[8] "Carlos Ruiz Zafon." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2020. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000161277/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=3eb08ed0. Accessed 6 Sept. 2020.

[9] Minder, Raphael. “Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Author of ‘The Shadow of the Wind,’ Dies at 55.” The New York Times. 20 June 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/20/books/carlos-ruiz-zafon-dead.html. Accessed 6 Sept. 2020.

[10] "Carlos Ruiz Zafon." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2020. Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1000161277/GLS?u=ar_a_obu&sid=GLS&xid=3eb08ed0. Accessed 6 Sept. 2020.

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