10 Latinx Recommendations for #NonFictionNovember


As we come closer to the end of the year I was looking back on all the reviews I’ve posted on this blog so far and realized that my non-fiction reading has been a little neglected. While I do read and enjoy non-fiction, this year so far my reading has heavily skewed towards fiction so it’s time to mix it up! This year for November I will focusing on reading non-fiction! If you want to join in here is a list of Latinx non-fiction titles that are currently on my TBR. As a side note, I am excluding memoirs, autobiographies and biographies from this list. While they are technically non-fiction I feel like they merit their own separate reading time and attention. Do you like to read non-fiction? Let me know in the comments if any of these sound interesting to you or if you have any recommendations!


Latinx: The New Force in American Politics by Ed Morales

In this groundbreaking discussion, Ed Morales explains how Latinx political identities are tied to a long Latin American history of mestizaje—“mixedness” or “hybridity”—and that this border thinking is both a key to understanding bilingual, bicultural Latin cultures and politics and a challenge to America’s infamously black–white racial regime. This searching and long-overdue exploration of the meaning of race in American life reimagines Cornel West’s bestselling Race Matters with a unique Latinx inflection.


De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century by Elizabeth Martínez

The unique Chicana voice of Elizabeth Martinez arises from more than thirty years of experience in the movements for civil rights, women's liberation, and Latina/o empowerment.With sections on women's organizing, struggles for economic justice. and the Latina/o youth movement, De Colores Means All of Us will appeal to readers and activists seeking to organize for the future and build new movements for liberation.


You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wreck And Other Vexing Stories That Tell Women Who They Are by Carina Chocano

Who is “The Girl”? Look to Hollywood and find the usual answer, one projected on millions of screens every day: she holds The Hero’s hand as he runs through the Pyramids, chasing robots; she nags him, or foils him, or plays the uptight straight man to his charming loser. But this “Girl” isn't really a person. She's often barely a part. And given such a dehumanized ideal, how are women shaped in its presence? How does it form their sense of who they are and what they can become? From Bugs Bunny to Playboy Bunnies, from Frozen to Flashdance, from the progressive ’70s through the backlash ’80s, the triumphalist ’90s, and the pornified, “bro culture” aughts—and at stops in between—Chocano blends formative personal stories with insightful and emotionally powerful analysis. She shows how growing up in the shadow of “The Girl” taught her to think about herself and the world and what it means to raise a daughter in the face of these contorted reflections.


Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Anzaldua, a Chicana native of Texas, explores in prose and poetry the murky, precarious existence of those living on the frontier between cultures and languages. Writing in a lyrical mixture of Spanish and English that is her unique heritage, she meditates on the condition of Chicanos in Anglo culture, women in Hispanic culture, and lesbians in the straight world. Her essays and poems range over broad territory, moving from the plight of undocumented migrant workers to memories of her grandmother, from Aztec religion to the agony of writing. Anzaldua is a rebellious and willful talent who recognizes that life on the border, "life in the shadows," is vital territory for both literature and civilization. Venting her anger on all oppressors of people who are culturally or sexually different, the author has produced a powerful document that belongs in all collections with emphasis on Hispanic American or feminist issues.


Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement edited by by Vanessa Pérez Rosario

Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement is a collection of thirteen chapters that explores the literary tradition of Caribbean Latino literature written in the United States beginning with José Martí and concluding with 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Junot Díaz. The essays in this collection reveal the multiple ways that writers of this tradition use their unique positioning as both insiders and outsiders to critique U.S. hegemonic discourses while simultaneously interrogating national discourses in their home countries. The chapters consider the way that spatial migration in literature serves as a metaphor for gender, sexual, racial, identity, linguistic, and national migrations.


La India Maria: Mexploitation and the Films of Maria Elena Velasco

La India Maria-a humble and stubborn indigenous Mexican woman-is one of the most popular characters of the Mexican stage, television, and film. Created and portrayed by Maria Elena Velasco, La India Maria has delighted audiences since the late 1960s with slapstick humor that slyly critiques discrimination and the powerful. At the same time, however, many critics have derided the iconic figure as a racist depiction of a negative stereotype and dismissed the India Maria films as exploitation cinema unworthy of serious attention. By contrast, La India Maria builds a convincing case for Maria Elena Velasco as an artist whose work as a director and producer-rare for women in Mexican cinema-has been widely and unjustly overlooked.Drawing on extensive interviews with Velasco, her family, and film industry professionals, as well as on archival research, Seraina Rohrer offers the first full account of Velasco's life; her portrayal of La India Maria in vaudeville, television, and sixteen feature film comedies, including Ni de aqui, ni de alla [Neither here, nor there]; and her controversial reception in Mexico and the United States.


Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA by Iris Morales

Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA is a timely collection of poetry and prose reflecting on women’s lived experiences and the ways that Latinas address the relationship between gender and social change. The contributors are poets, activists, educators, artists, and journalists engaged in a variety of work from community organizing to university teaching. Edited by longtime activist Iris Morales, the selections illustrate how Latinas understand the gendered conditions of their lives and discuss inequities faced as women and also by class, race, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status. The volume is most closely aligned with the view of feminism as a movement to end sexist oppression, both its institutional and individual manifestations.


Latin American Women Filmmakers: Social and Cultural Perspectives by Traci Roberts-camps

Women are noticeably marginalized from the Latin American film industry, with lower budgets and inadequate distribution, and they often rely on their creativity to make more interesting films. This book highlights the voices and stories of some of these directors from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. Roberts-Camps's insightful exploration is the most broad-ranging account of its kind, making the book relevant to the study of literature as well as film.


Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies by Steven Alvarez

Brokering Tareas examines a grassroots literacy mentoring program that connected immigrant parents with English language mentors who helped emerging bilingual children with homework and encouraged positive academic attitudes. Steven Alvarez gives an ethnographic account of literacies practices, language brokering, advocacy, community-building, and mentorship among Mexican-origin families at a neighborhood afterschool program in New York City. Alvarez argues that engaging literacy mentorship across languages can increase parental involvement and community engagement among immigrant families, and offers teachers and researchers possibilities for rethinking their own practices with the communities of their bilingual students.


Filming Pancho: How Hollywood Shaped the Mexican Revolution by Margarita de Orellana translated from the Spanish by John King

Through memoir and newspaper reports, Margarita De Orellana looks at the documentary film-makers who went down to cover events in Mexico. Feature film-makers in Hollywood portrayed the border as the dividing line between order and chaos, in the process developing a series of lasting Mexican stereotypes—the greaser, the bandit, the beautiful señorita, the exotic Aztec. Filming Panchoreveals how Mexico was constructed in the American imagination and how movies reinforced and justified both American expansionism and racial and social predjudice.