Sunday, February 20, 2011

Books of Interest From Writers of Color-Introduction

This will be a fairly regular feature on this blog from now on. Silly me. I thought I’d do a blog entry on this—a simple list with a brief annotation for each author. After the single-spaced pages of just author + one book grew to four pages and I still wasn’t anywhere near finished, I knew I needed to break it up into a series of blog entries focusing on just a few authors each with perhaps a little more about each author.

The idea for this came from being asked, not for the first time, what books by people of color there were other than the few name-brand authors, such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Sandra Cisneros, Amy Tan, and Sherman Alexie. This question has been coming from sincere people, often teachers.

With such a long list, how can they not know any of these names? Easy. Many of these writers are published by small presses or university presses or were originally published by these presses and have just recently started publishing with the big New York trade houses, which may well not publicize them much at first. I know about them because a lot of them are my friends or they are friends of my friends or I have just been studying the field for a long time. This abundance of wonderful, gifted writers of color is one of America’s best-kept secrets. I may be doing these blog installments for many months, and when I finally exhaust all the fine writers I know about, there will still be many that I am not aware of. But at least, it will be a starting place.

Here’s just a partial excerpt of that long list I made. It’s in no particular order—just the way their names occurred to me--with no books or details. Just to whet your appetite. Each week, I’ll try to go into some detail about several of these authors (and many more, eventually) with titles of books and, if possible, links to where the books can be bought.

Marjorie Agosín

Diane Glancy

Luci Tapahonso

Francisco Aragón

Deborah Miranda

Kristin Naca

Sherwin Bitsui

Linda Hogan

Craig Santos Perez

Kimberly Becker

Tony Diaz

Anastacia Tolbert

Belinda Acosta

Carla Trujillo

Phyllis Becker

Virgil Suárez

Celeste Guzman Mendoza

Sehba Sarwar

Fred Arroyo

Manuel Muñoz

Fan Wu

Charlie Vásquez

Erika Wurth

Charles Rice-Gonzalez

Kim Shuck

Allison Hedge Coke

Blas Falconer

Daniel Chacón

Erasmo Guerra

Janet McAdams

Carolina Monsivais

Josie Dykas

Ruth Behar

Ching-In Chen

Joy Harjo

Levi Romero

Juan Felipe Herrera

Lisa Alvarado

Sandra Cisneros

Juliana Aragón Fatula

Leslie Marmon Silko

Carlos Cúmpian

Michael Medrano

Lorraine López

Alex Espinoza

Luis J. Rodríguez

J. Michael Martinez

Paul Martinez Pompa

Brenda Cárdenas

John Olivares Espinoza

Francisco Alarçon

Lorna Dee Cervantes

Martín Espada

Oliver de la Paz

Pat Alderete

Rigoberto González

Patricia Spears Jones

Allison Joseph

Phong Nguyen

Amada Irma Perez

Rene Colato Laínez

Helena Maria Viramontes

Richard Yañez

Cornelius Eady

Tomás Riley

Shin Yu Pai

Richard Blanco

Achy Obejas

Michelle Otero

...and the list goes on and on. Lots of good reading ahead!


  1. Looking forward to it!

  2. Bigunen, thanks. It's going to take quite a while to get to all of them. Linda