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Hispanic Heritage Month: Authors

Isabel Allende Isabel Allende is a Chilean journalist and author born on August 2, 1942, in Lima, Peru. Her best-known works include the novels The House of the Spirits and City of Beasts. She has written over 20 books that have been translated into more than 35 languages and sold more than 67 million copies. 

Julia Alvarez Julia Alvarez is a poet and novelist who is known for novels such as How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies.

Sandra Cisneros - Sandra Cisneros was born on December 20, 1954, in Chicago, Illinois. Her novel, The House on Mango Street, about a young Latina woman coming of age in Chicago, has sold more than two million copies. Cisneros has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Texas Medal of the Arts. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Jesús Colón Jesús Colón (1901-1974) was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, after the Spanish-American War, when the American Tobacco Company gained control of the tobacco-producing land in Puerto Rico. His father was a baker and his family owned the Colón Hotel.

Junot DíazJunot Díaz (born December 31, 1968) is a Dominican-American writer, creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and fiction editor at Boston Review. He also serves on the board of advisers for Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants. Central to Díaz's work is the immigrant experience, particularly the Latino immigrant experience.

Margarita Engle - Margarita Engle (born in Los Angeles, California on September 2, 1951) is a Cuban American poet and author of many award-winning books for children, young adults and adults. Most of Engle's stories are written in verse and are a reflection of her Cuban heritage and her deep appreciation and knowledge of nature. She became the first Latino awarded a Newbery Honor in 2009 for The Surrender Tree: Poems for Cuba's Struggle for Freedom. She was selected by the Poetry Foundation to serve from 2017-2019 as the sixth Young People's Poet Laureate. On October 9, 2018, Margarita Engle was announced the winner of the 2019 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. She was nominated by 2019 NSK Prize jury member Lilliam Rivera.

Gabriel García Márquez Gabriel García Márquez, (born in Aracataca, Colombia on March 6, 1927; died in Mexico City, Mexico on April 17, 2014) Colombian novelist and one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, mostly for his masterpiece Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude). He was the fourth Latin American to be so honored, having been preceded by Chilean poets Gabriela Mistral in 1945 and Pablo Neruda in 1971 and by Guatemalan novelist Miguel Ángel Asturias in 1967. With Jorge Luis Borges, García Márquez is the best-known Latin American writer is history. In addition to his masterly approach to the novel, he was a superb crafter of short stories and an accomplished journalist. In both his shorter and longer fictions, García Márquez achieved the rare feat of being accessible to the common reader while satisfying the most demanding of sophisticated critics.

Meg Medina Meg Medina is a Cuban-American writer of picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult fiction. She has published six books and been included in multiple anthologies, and her work centers on Latina girls and Latino families. The first of her family to be born in the US, she grew up in Queen, New York, where she met her husband, Javier Menéndez. Medina's parents both immigrated from Cuba prior to her birth, which serves as a large inspiration for her writing. Her book Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass has been banned in some areas due to its title. In March 2014 Medina was placed on CNN's "10 Visionary Women" list as a "Reading Revolutionary." She is a recipient of the Belpré Medal and the Newbery Medal, winning the latter for Merci Suárez Changes Gears.

Ashley Hope Pérez Ashley Hope Pérez is the author of the YA novels Out of Darkness, The Knife and the Butterfly, and What Can't Wait. Ashley grew up in Texas and taught high school in Houston before pursuing a PhD in comparative literature at Indiana University. She now teaches world literature at The Ohio State University and spends most of her time reading, writing and teaching on topics from global youth narratives to Latin American and Latina/o fiction. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Arnulfo, and their sons, Liam Miguel and Ethan Andrés.

Erika L. Sánchez - Erika L. Sánchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. A poet, novelist, and essayist, her debut poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was published in July 2017, and was a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. Her debut adult novel, I Am Not Your Pervect Mexican Daughter, published in October 2017, is a New York Times Bestseller and National Book Awards finalist. She was a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow, and a recent recipient of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.