Dear anyone who reads this,
There’s been an issue permeating the publishing world for a long time and we just started talking about it. The issue is the highly diluted list of diverse authors, particularly found on The New York Times Best Sellers List. As of today, it looks like their list is slightly better than it used to be but not quite there yet. There are only 4 out of 15 novels written by authors of color in Hardcover Fiction and 4 out of 10 novels for young adult fiction. The list goes by what is selling 5,000-10,000 copies in one week so it isn’t exactly intentional. I also hold absolutely no qualms towards hardworking authors of ANY background who is fortunate enough to get published and make it to that list. However, these books make it onto the list because readers see the popular, “New York Times Bestseller,” tag hanging off of it and we are eager to taste it’s magic or we see it consistently promoted on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
In order to help diversify the list, we need to start doing our own research and give a chance to authors who haven’t made that list just yet. We need to try and give an equal opportunity to any author who has worked just as hard. Here I will solely focus on Latina authors (since it’s the bulk of my bookshelf), two who have evidently made it to the New York Times Best Seller list. But, I’ll continue to research and add others not as well known and a separate list of other diverse authors.
P.S. I’ve been asked a few times (and incredibly flattered by this by the way) whether I have any of my own work to promote. Although I have a few published and non-published short stories uploaded here on my site, I don’t have a novel published as of yet. I’ve been working on an autobiographical fiction YA novel for the last 2 years. Once it’s polished, I’m hiring beta readers, and agent hunting. So, if you know anyone… 🙂
- Sylvia Moreno Garcia – A Mexican Canadian Fiction novelist who I’ve recently discovered this year has written several books, one which has made the New York Times Best-Sellers List. Mexican Gothic (On my wish list) made it to the New York Times Best-Seller list, The Beautiful Ones (Just finished and it’s marvelous), Signal to Noise (Great book), and two others I’m not familiar with yet. Her books are a combination of magical realism and fantasy and feel like a personal trip into the world of Stranger Things.
- Carmen Maria Machado – A Cuban American author and essayist who is arguably one of the most-well known Hispanic authors on the market and on this list. I believe she is better known for her short stories which are labeled as science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. The emotions and events found in her stories are so real that it doesn’t ever feel like science-fiction. I would recommend purchasing her book of short stories, Her Body and Other Parties and her memoir In The Dream House.
- Ingrid Roja Contreras – A Columbian author who wrote the national bestseller, Fruit of the Drunken Tree. This was a book I consistently promoted, surprised by how much I fell in love with the story, the characters, and the writing itself. It is a work of fiction rooted in autobiographical events that had occurred during her childhood in Columbia when Pablo Escobar reigned and terrorized the country of Columbia. Blood and death was something the characters knew well before they even entered the 3rd grade. It appears she has only written this novel and has published quite a few short stories.
- Jaquira Diaz – A Puertorican writer known for her short stories, essays, and her recent memoir, Ordinary Girls, has won a few awards and honors and has created some buzz in the literary community. Give this up and coming author a shot by perusing her raw and honest, memoir!
- Laura Esquivel – A Mexican novelist and screenwriter who has been around for a while now. She isn’t as green as the others but I couldn’t help adding her on here because of the beauty found in her book, Like Water for Chocolate. It is another fiction novel intertwined with magical realism, romance, loss, and… cooking. Esquivel’s other works have been known to entice and cause heart-wrenching pain and vivacious laughs but this is the book I would ultimately recommend along with the movie. Beautiful, just beautiful.
- Upcoming list of older books by Latinx authors – Cristina Garcia, Reyna Grande, Isabel Quintero, and Pam Munoz Ryan
- List of other diverse authors I’ve enjoyed who I believe have made the best sellers list: Cupcake Brown (Read my review!), Jenny Han, Nicola Yoon, Karen Hesse (Read my review!) Gene Luen Yang, Celeste NG, and Delia Owens.