The Latino Lit Syllabus – Required Reading

I minored in English Literature and some of my favorite books have been a result of required reading especially from my Multicultural Literature courses. I don’t think I would have discovered Maxine Hong, Jean Toomer, or Lois-Ann Yamanaka otherwise.

Taking a cue from the recent airing of Junot Diaz’ MIT Course Syllabus, I’ve decided to share some other notable required reading lists that you might find interesting:

Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature – Florida Atlantic University
José Martí. “Coney Island.” (1881)
María Amparo Ruíz de Burton. From The Squatter and the Don. (1885)
Jesús Colón. Excerpts from A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches. (1961)
Piri Thomas. Down These Mean Streets. (1967)
Oscar Zeta Acosta. Revolt of the Cockroach People. (1973)
Selections of Nuyorican Poets. (1960s-1970s)
Sandra Cisneros. The House on Mango Street. (1984)
Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands/La Frontera. (1987)
Cristina Garcia. Dreaming in Cuban (1992)
Ana Menéndez. Loving Che. (2003)
Junot Diaz. Drown. (1996)
Yxta Maya Murray. Locas. (1998)
Tanya Maria Barrientos. Family Resemblance. (2003)
Ernesto Quiñonez. Bodega Dreams. (2000)
Ilan Stavans. The Hispanic Condition. (1996)
Juan Flores. From Bomba to Hip-Hop. (2000)
Lisa Sánchez González. Boricua Literature. (2001)
Gustavo Pérez Firmat. Life on the Hyphen. (1994)
Román de la Campa. Cuba on my Mind. (2000)
Raphael Dalleo and Elena Machado Sáez. The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature. (2007)

University of California, Santa Cruz:
Manuel Muñoz, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue
Helena Maria Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus
H.G. Carrillo, Loosing My Espanish
Jaime Hernández, The Education of Hopey Glass
Héctor Tobar, The Tattooed Soldier

University of Nebraska Omaha:
The Squatter and the Don (1885) by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
George Washington Gomez (Paredes wrote this novel in the 1940s and 1950s but it wasn’t published until 1990)by Américo Paredes
And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1987) by Tomás Rivera
Borderlands/La Frontera (1987) by Gloria Anzaldúa
The Rain God (1991) by Arturo Islas
So Far From God (1993) by Ana Castillo
Days of Awe (2001) by Achy Obejas
Acuña, Rudolfo: Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
Aranda Jr., Jose: When We Arrive: A New Literary History of Mexican America Extinct Lands,
Brady, Mary Pat: Temporal Geographies: Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space
Paredes, Américo: Folklore and Culture on the Texas Mexican Border
Paz, Octavio: The Labyrinth of Solitude
Saldívar, Ramón: Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference
Torres, Eden: Chicana Without Apology

Introduction to Latino/a Studies:
Michelle Habell-Pallan and Mary Romero Latino/a Popular Culture (ed.)
Julia Alvarez, In the Name of Salomé
Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima
Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera
Black Artemis, Picture Me Rollin’
Angie Cruz, Soledad
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Cristina Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban
Ana Menéndez, Loving Che
Ernesto Quiñonez, Bodega Dreams
Piri Thomas, Down These Mean Streets
Esmeralda Santiago, When I was Puerto Rican
Helena Maria Viramontes, Their Dogs Came With Them

There are many of these online and I only posted some of the ones that didn’t contain too many of the usual notables. Next time you are looking for some great titles to read and discover this might be a new avenue for direction.

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