Malia Marquez on What to Read for Hispanic Heritage Month: Part 3 of 3

Candor de la Alborada (Candor of Dawn)
Image: Rafael Soriano, Candor de la Alborada (Candor of Dawn), 1994, oil on canvas

Please enjoy the last installment of our Hispanic Heritage Month reading list, curated by Acre Author Malia Márquez, whose debut novel THIS FIERCE BLOOD is out October 15.

This Fierce Blood is a gorgeous and ecologically tender generational odyssey. The rebellious, loving, and brilliant Sylte women at the heart of this magical debut novel offer us a vision of what is possible when we consider both the power of our familial bonds and a natural world beyond the human. Malia Márquez has given us a spellbinding novel that remembers and fiercely reclaims our shared histories.”
–Michael Zapata, author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

When My Brother Was an Aztec

When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz

Diaz’s debut collection foregrounds the particularities of family dynamics and individual passion against a backdrop of the mythological intensity of tribal life and a deeply rooted cultural history. In these distinctively voiced poems, a sister struggles with a brother’s addiction to meth, while everyone, from Antigone and Houdini to Huitzilopochtli and Jesus, is invited to hash it out. By turns darkly humorous and sensual, Diaz’s poems gather imagery and language as readily as they illuminate the intimate and engage with the communal.

Women Who Run with the Wolves

Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories—many from her own traditions—to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman, and hold her against our psyches as one who is both magic and medicine.


Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers’ and to understand her place on this side of the border and that, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life. When she starts telling the Awful Grandmother’s life story, seeking clues to how the woman got to be so awful, Grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating. Soon, a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life.


Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo

On screen, Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and once was even melted into a bloody goo. Off screen, he’s a hero beloved by recovery communities and obsessed fans alike. However, the real Danny Trejo is much more complicated than the legend.


Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora

Through an unflinching gaze, plainspoken diction, and a combination of Spanish and English, Unaccompanied crosses rugged terrain where families are lost and reunited, coyotes lead migrants astray, and “the thin white man let us drink from a hose / while pointing his shotgun.”

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