Hello! Welcome! Bienvenidas! Thank you for joining me here on Latinas Leyendo. It is an absolute joy to bring you this passion project. I am thrilled that you are joining me on this journey to discover new books and authors. This blog is my brainchild born of a lifelong love of books and a lot of caffeine. I hope you have as much fun in this space as I did creating it!
Since we are just starting out I thought I would share with you some more thoughts about how this project came to be:
Why did you decide to create a Latina/Latinx specific book blog? What about non-Latinx and Latino authors?
Although I read books from authors of many backgrounds I decided to focus on Latina/x authors and readers in this space for the following reasons:
Publishing in the US is overwhelmingly and disproportionately white both in the editorial and executive levels as well as the authors who receive contracts and advertising dollars. Latina/x authors face the double erasure of their gender and ethnicity when it comes to receiving recognition for their work. While the roots of these issues are structural and go well beyond publishing, a wise woman once said you can complain about something three times before you have to do something about it. So now I am doing something about it. This blog is my small way of celebrating and highlighting voices that I believe deserve a greater focus in mainstream publishing.
So: publishing has a problem, but why is representation important in books? I believe that people read for different reasons; for fun, for escapism, for information, for different points of view, for art, sometimes for all of these things at once. One of the most important things that come out of reading is being able to temporarily slip into the skin of another. Reading outside of your cultural background can offer new perspectives and build empathy while seeing yourself represented on the page, especially when your background is underrepresented in media can be hugely rewarding. I believe thus that reading and writing diversely is beneficial to both readers within and outside of the minority group being represented.
Lastly, why Latina/x and not another minority? The obvious answer is that I myself am Latina and while I am by no means an expert and while I read and support my sisters from across the globe, this space is where I feel I can make a bigger contribution. As I mentioned before Latina authors face the obstacle of double erasure. Non-binary authors even more so. While I will be reading and reviewing some Latino authors, I will mainly be focusing on Latina and Latinx authors in this space.
What do you define as Latin America?
Placing people into categories is a lot harder than the US census and High School history would have you believe. The most basic definitions I can find are that Latinos are people with cultural ties to Latin America, which in turn is loosely defined as the areas in the Americas where Spanish, French and Portuguese are spoken, but these lines get blurry very fast when you start looking closer. I am not going to attempt to be an arbiter of who is and is not Latinx. That is not my call to make nor is it something that I am interested in doing. Instead I will be readying as broadly as I can in terms of author ethnicity, geography, language and culture.
What genres do/don’t you review?
My comfort reads are definitely genre fiction. I love sci-fi/fantasy, mysteries and romance. I enjoy literary fiction and non-fiction as well. More recently I’ve been dipping my toes into Poetry, YA and Memoirs where a lot of new Latina/x authors are doing exciting work. I try to keep an open mind with styles and genres I am not familiar with and am willing to give most things a go. The only genres I will not be reviewing for this blog are religious/spiritual texts and self-help books. If you have any suggestions for books I would love to hear about them!
What type of content can we expect on this blog?
For now I am planning to write a post every week, so you can expect four blog posts per month two of these will be book reviews and two will be book adjacent posts like essays or author/event highlights. This might change as the blog continues to grow and evolve. For more frequent posts follow me on Instagram!