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‘Cat in the Stax: Hispanic Heritage Month

  • Posted by: Daniella Snyder
  • Posted Date: September 12, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

I’m Daniella Snyder, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University, and your newest ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics– from research to study habits and everything in between– and how the Falvey Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!


Nationally, we recognize Sept 15th to October 15th as Hispanic Heritage Month. We use this month to pay tribute to generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively contributed to society through politics, art, and literature. Villanova University and the Office of Intercultural Affairs is certainly using this month to celebrate! Be sure to check out the list of events happening on campus, ranging from ZUMBA classes to a film screening of COCO.

While you can certainly use Falvey’s Diversity & Inclusion Guide to find a wide array of databases and resources that highlight Hispanic and Latin American voices, use this brief list as a way to jumpstart your reading for Hispanic Heritage Month. Use the links to borrow a copy in the Falvey Library today!


The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Source: Amazon.

Sandra Cisneros is a Mexican-American author. Her most notable work is New York Times bestseller The House on Mango Street: a 1984 coming-0f-age novel that tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina woman growing up in Chicago with Chicanos and Puerto Ricans.

The entire novel is composed of various vignettes that resemble poetry in length. Esperanza narrates the vignettes in first person, ranging from topics like her family, her dream house, and the trees on her street. The vignettes chart her life over the course of a year, reflecting her physical and emotional growth.

The House on Mango Street is considered one of the greatest works of Latino literature.




Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa

Source: Amazon.

Gloria Anzaldúa is a multi-identity Chicana feminist writer. Her semi-autobiographical work, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza is a best selling, notable, and award-winning book.

The term “Borderlands,” according to Anzaldúa, refers to the geographical area along the US/Mexico border. In the book, she shares the story of growing up along the Texas/Mexico border. Anzaldúa artistically articulates– through prose and poetry in both Spanish and English– the way in which culture, language, and even worlds hybridize in the Borderlands.

Anzaldúa also addresses her activism as a queer Chicana woman, and the borders that appear around queer and gender identities.

25 years after the publication of Borderlands, the book was banned in an Arizona school district due to a law that prohibited the teaching of Mexican-American studies.



The Dew-Breaker by Edwidge Danticat

Source: Amazon.

Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American novelist and short story writer. Although Danticat resides in the United States, she still considers Haiti her home.

The title of the novel comes from a Creole phrase which refers to those who break “the serenity of the morning dew,” and can be considered a Creole nickname for someone who tortures others. In this novel, “The Dew Breakers” are a paramilitary group who tortured thousands of innocent Haitian civilians in the late 20th century.

Danticat tells heartbreakingly real and emotionally-driven narratives that center around the Haitian-American experience. Another one of her books, Breath, Eyes, Memory tells the story of a young girl immigrating from Haiti to the United States, and her struggle with leaving her home country.




I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Source: Amazon.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter follows the story of 15-year-old Julia Reyes, a Mexican-American girl growing up in Chicago, and the problems that occur following the death of a family member.

In an interview about the process of writing the novel, Sánchez remarked, “I wanted to create a story that documented the experiences of an immigrant family because that’s the family that I belonged to. And I think it’s really important to read different narratives about people so you can understand what it’s like to be them. I think reading can be a very powerful tool for empathy. I hope that young children of immigrants can see themselves in the book and feel validated.”

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is a finalist for the National Book Award for young people’s literature.





Make Your Home Among Strangers: A Novel by Jennine Capó Crucet

Source: Goodreads.

Latina novelist Jennine Capó Crucet tells the story of Lizet, a first-generation college student and daughter of Cuban immigrants. She gets accepted to Rawlings College, and leaves Miami, her hometown. An array of troubling changes ensue and ultimately affect Lizet’s life: her parents sell her childhood home, they divorce, and Lizet finds herself on the margins at college.

Goodreads writes about Make Your Home Among Strangers: “Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it’s the new story of what it means to be American today.”

Make Your Home Among Strangers won the International Latino Book Award for Best Latino-Themed Fiction in 2016.









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Last Modified: September 12, 2018

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