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Latina Reads: Honduran And Honduran-American Authors You Should Know About

The motto for Honduras is “Libre, Soberana e Independiente,” or “Free, Sovereign and Independent,” and that’s also an appropriate way to describe the women on this list. They faced political turmoil and sexism only to rise above their detractors and make history in the literary world.  

From self-love and patriotism to family, the works by these fierce escritoras span a variety of topics that gained them acclaim in their homeland and throughout Latin America.

1. Argentina Díaz Lozano

There's not too much translated fiction by #honduranwriters out there, and unfortunately, I'm not able to read Spanish. So I turned to #EnriquetaandI by #ArgentinaDíazLozano (1944, translated by #HarrietDeOnìz), as the representative of #Honduras on my personal #readingaroundtheworldtour. The novel unfolds in Honduras in 1915-1925 and tells the story of the emotional ties between a daughter (the narrator) and her mother, focusing on the mothers struggle to raise her daughter in times of hardship, while travelling a great part of Honduras in search for work as a schoolteacher. The novel is quite well written, although somewhat oldfashioned (bordering on: outdated) in its episodic form, and its romantic, sentimental style. Not a bad read, but not my favourire kind of novel. I would have liked to read something else from Honduras. Any suggestions in translated #honduranfiction? Full review (in Danish) at www.bognoter.dk. #honduranliterature #honduransklitteratur #verdenibøger

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Known by her pen name Argentina Díaz Lozano,  romance novelist Argentina Bueso Mejía was born in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras in 1912.  Her work is noted for its feminist themes. She was awarded throughout Latin America for her publications, including Best Novel in 1944 for “Peregrinaje” by Latin American Novel Contest Pan-American Union. She received acclaim when she published the biography of Guatemalan Vice President  Clemente Marroquín Rojas in 1968, garnering the Honduran National Literature Prize “Ramón Rosa” and admittance to the Academia Hondureña de la Lengua. She remains the only woman from Central America whose works have been an official candidate for the Nobel Prize of Literature.

2. Lucila Gamero de Medina

Lucila Gamero de Medina was the first woman in Honduras to create literary works and the first in Central America to publish novels. Born in 1873 in Danlí, Honduras, Medina took after her father and studied medicine and was eventually appointed as head of the hospital in her hometown. She began writing as a child and, at 19, became the first woman to publish a novel in her country. She wrote the work, “Amalia Montiel,” in 1892, and it was broken down by chapters in the weekly newspaper El Pensamiento. She published her second novel, “Adriana and Margarita,” the following year. The main topics of her works include love and family, with her best-known novel, “Blanca Olmedo,” being a love story and a criticism of the church.

3. Francisca Raquel Navas Gardela

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Better known as Paca Navas, Francisca Raquel Navas Gardela founded the first feminist journal in Honduras and was a member of the first suffragette organization. In 1935, at the age of 52, she founded La voz de Atlántida, a weekly newspaper focused on Pan-American culture. It became known as the first feminist journal in Honduras, covering topics such as aging, domestic abuse, incest, rape, homeless youth and the social inequality of women. In 1947, while in exile in Guatemala, Navas published “Ritmos criollos,” a collection of poems followed by her novel “Barro” in 1951. The latter is an example of the Criollismo literary movement, focusing on the trials of relocation for fruit pickers and the exploitation they experienced.

4. Amanda Castro

(Photo Credit: Poetry and Poets in Rags)

Born in 1962 in Tegucigalpa, Amanda Castro is an author whose literary contributions celebrate women and self-love. She studied and taught at a university in the U.S. and is known as one of the most prominent Honduran writers who received the Hoja del Laurel en Oro by then President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya. Her works include “Celebración de Mujeres,” “Poemas de amor propio y de propio amor,” “Pronombres de tratamiento en el español hondureño” and “Viajes y sueños: reflexiones sobre creación e identidad y Otros testimonios: voces de mujeres centroamericanas.”  

5. Clementina Suárez

Honduras’ most famous poet, Clementina Suárez, rose to fame as the first woman to publish a book of poetry in her country. “Corazón Sangrante” debut in 1930, cementing her place in history. Still, it was her provocative personality and free spirit that earned her a reputation as a sexually liberated rule-breaker.  Known as the “New Woman” in Honduras, she would wear lipstick and bikinis and was the only woman to frequent the local tobacco shop — acts that went against what was expected of women at that time. In 1970,  she was awarded the Ramon Rose National Literature Prize, though there were many who disapproved of her lifestyle. She was allegedly murdered in 1991 in Tegucigalpa. In 1995, her biography was published.

6. Kat Fajardo

Having a blast at @nerdtino! Swing by!!

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Honduran and Colombian award-winning comic artist and illustrator Kat Fajardo, 27, uses her art to shed light on Latinx culture and self-acceptance. She’s a first-generation Latina born and raised in New York City who recently won the CXC Emerging Talent Award. Her 17-page mini comic “Gringa!” released in 2015 and chronicles her struggles with assimilation and racism, while 2016’s  Bandida” comics illustrate folk remedies and superstitions. She also edited and provided the cover art for “La Raza Anthology,” a 120-page book featuring illustrations, poetry, short stories and comics from more than 40 contributors.

7. Suyapa Portillo

(Photo Credit: Pitzer College)

Suyapa Portillo is an assistant professor of Chicano/a-Latino/a transnational studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif.  Last year, she was awarded the Fulbright Scholar Research Fellowship to Honduras, where she’s investigating the narratives of migration from the point of view of Hondurans, focusing on the experiences of women and LGBTQ youth.  She contributed a chapter to “Rethinking Latin American Social Movements: Radical Action from Below” on the grassroots coalition that developed after the 2009 coup d’etat of President Manuel Zelaya.

8. Melissa Cardoza

Melissa Cardoza is an Afro-Indigenous journalist, poet, writer and feminist organizer. She published the poetry book “13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance” in 2016, sharing the moments of strength she witnessed in the midst of repression and turmoil in Honduras.

Read: Latina Reads: 12 Haitian Women Authors To Make Room For On Your Bookshelves

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Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series

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Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series

Fans of magical realism rejoice. On Wednesday, Netflix announced it acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will be turning the literary masterpiece into a Spanish-language series.

This is the first time the 1967 novel, considered “one of the most significant works of the 20th Century,” will be adapted for screen. For years, the author, who died in 2014, refused to sell the film rights, believing the story could not be done justice through a two-hour project, according to Deadline.

Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo García Barcha, García Márquez’s sons, who are serving as executive producers on the show, believe a series is an appropriate approach to the book.

“For decades, our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Años de Soledad. He believed that it could not be made under the time constraints of a feature film, or that producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice,” Rodrigo Garcia told BuzzFeed News, adding that the “current golden age of series,” with “the level of talented writing and directing, the cinematic quality of content,” changed the family’s mind.

“The time could not be better to bring an adaptation to the extraordinary global viewership that Netflix provides,” he continued.

The series will be filmed in Colombia.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” tells the story of the multi-generational Buendia family, whose patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia founded Macondo, a fictional town in the South American country.

The book has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages.

In a statement, Francisco Ramos, Netflix’s vice president of Spanish-language content, said, “We know our members around the world love watching Spanish-language films and series and we feel this will be a perfect match of project and our platform.”

He’s right. Since announcing the adaptation, fans of the magical realism novel have been celebrating the news.

There’s no word yet on when the series will debut and who will star in it.

Read: This Film About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is At The Center Of The Most Expensive Sundance Documentary Deal Of All Time

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These 13 Books On Self-Care Will Help You Start the New Year Right

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These 13 Books On Self-Care Will Help You Start the New Year Right

The holidays are all about love, familia, and good food but it can also be a stressful and overwhelming time especially for those who live with mental health conditions. The books featured on this list are meant to help provide you with the resources to not only get through the holidays but also start the new year feeling poderosa. Because self-care is different for everyone, this roundup includes a variety of books that focus on traditional practices and methods as well as more practical and holistic approaches. Some of the women are self-care gurus and/or mental health care advocates and others are writers or medical professionals who’ve dealt with their owns struggles and come out of it empowered.

With 2019 just weeks away, go ahead and take a moment to read through this compilation to find the best book that’ll remind you that you are a fierce, fly, and focused superwoman ready for what’s coming next.

 “You Have the Right to Remain Fat” by Virgie Tovar

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1 day until the official release date!

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Virgie Tovar’s manifesto for curvy women everywhere is a short but powerful read debunking diet culture beliefs that perpetuate the idea that skinny is the ultimate goal. Even with today’s seemingly more body positive message, there is the still the notion that healthy equals skinny and Tovar is not here for it. After twenty years of dieting, she decides to just let herself be and this book is a testament to her newfound freedom and acceptance of her fly self as is, dismantling fatpbobia in the process.

Buy it here.

“The Latina Guide to Health: Consejos and Caring Answers” by Jane L. Delgado

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Jane L. Delgado is a Cuban-American health care advocate and president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. With Latinas and their specific health issues and lifestyle in mind, Delgado’s guide breaks down medical myths and answers relevant questions. Sprinkled with “consejos”  like putting yourself first despite our tendencies to want to take care of others, the book also provides tips on how to feed your mind, body, and spirit and how to navigate the medical system.

Buy it here.

“The Color Of My Mind: Mental Health Narratives from People of Color” by Dior Vargas

Queer Latinx mental health activist Dior Vargas is known for being a vocal supporter of mental health awareness among people of color. Her viral People of Color and Mental Illness photo project in 2014 is the basis for this book published earlier this year. “The Color of My Mind” is a diverse counterpart to what Vargas sees is a homogenization of mental health conditions and the communities they affect. The book contains images and stories of 34 various POC discussing their trials, the strength they gained, and the lessons they learned.

Buy it here.

“The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives” edited by Vanessa Hazzard and Iresha Picot

Amazon.com

Vanessa Hazzard and Iresha Picot were inspired to put together “The Color of Hope” for POC after learning that less than  20 percent of psychologists identify as a minority yet mental illness is prevalent among these underrepresented communities. The book features more than 20 essays, interviews, and poems by people of color living with depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder and other health conditions as well as those loved ones affected by their conditions. It’s a powerful and emotional journey through their personal experiences with mental illness in a community that more often than not doesn’t confront these issues.

Buy it here.

“Latino Families in Therapy” by Celia Jaes Falicov

The second edition of the acclaimed “Latino Families in Therapy” by Celia Jaes Falicov is an updated guide written mainly for clinical practitioners. The book examines family dynamics, environmental stressors, and migration experiences to better understand what affects Latino families and their mental health. With such a small number of POC working in mental health care this book is an essential read to encourage understanding of culturally specific issues affecting patients.

Buy it here.

“What If This Were Enough?” by Heather Havrilesky

Acclaimed writer Heather Havrilesky released this collection of essays to encourage readers to embrace imperfection in everyday life. Her characteristic humor and inspirational approach made her famous through her “Ask Polly” advice column for The Cut and it’s also present here. She deconstructs the prevailing idea that buying new products and adopting a new lifestyle will lead to a better life and instead encourages readers to live in the imperfect present to find contentment.

Buy it here.

“You Don’t Have To Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism” by Alida Nugent

Part feminist manifesto and part a declaration of self-love, “You Don’t Have to Like Me”  is a testament to the empowering effects of self-love and acceptance. Alida Nugent approaches the dark moments in her life including her struggles with an eating disorder and her initially complicated relationship with feminism with wit and sincerity.  She discusses deep issues like embracing her biracial identity and more relatable topics like being unapologetic about her love for being extra when it comes to her makeup. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll be inspired to love yourself as unapologetically as she does.

Buy it here.

“Bloom: A Gift For The Girl Learning To Love Her Beautiful Soul” by Shani Jay

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We’re all guilty of looking out there for our happiness. We buy the dream house, the right car, and maybe even those new boobs. We rush around like a bunch of crazies, swiping left & right like life depends on it, trying desperately to find our other half. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But we forgot that we’re already whole. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We think that more money, and more stuff is going to make us happy. I used to think this too. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But then we get the raise, we get the Chanel handbag, we get the bigger house — and it’s still not enough. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So we look around and see what else might fill that void we feel within. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But it doesn’t matter how much more we do or get on the outside — it has little to no effect on the inside. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It’s the same when it comes to people. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We all want to be loved; it’s a basic human need. So we devote our lives to searching for the special someone who’s going to give us that love we crave. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But we don’t love ourselves. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And that’s why we spend the rest of our lives struggling to teach others how to love us. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And that’s also why we’re never truly happy, or at peace — because we’re still dependent on someone else to make us feel that way. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ How many times have you thought to yourself: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When I find that perfect person, my life will be complete. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I just need to get that promotion at work, and everything will be better. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When we’ve saved enough as a couple and can afford to get a mortgage on our dream house, we’ll be happier. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Be honest with yourself. Maybe you’ve already had a thought like this today. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ These things you’re placing your happiness on are nothing more than distractions. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ No one and nothing out there can truly make you happy. That’s on you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You know where real inner happiness and peace comes from? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In your heart. In the act of embracing your authentic self. In peeling back those labels the world has nailed to you, and discovering your true soul. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And in the realisation that everything you long to be — you already are ???????????? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ – snippet from my @medium article ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ????: @christineadel

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“Bloom: A Gift For The Girl Learning To Love Her Beautiful Soul” by Shani Jay reaffirms why self-love is the best and most important love. She addresses the women who need to be reminded to actually love themselves and who struggle with believing life will get better. This is for those moments when doubt is louder than any other emotion and you need that voice in your head telling you that you ARE strong enough.

Buy it here.

“A Cup of Water Under My Bed” by Daisy Hernández

“A Cup of Water Under My Bed” is a coming of age memoir by former ColorLines magazine executive editor Daisy Hernandez as she comes into her own as a queer Latinx. She was the first-generation American child of a Colombian mother and Cuban father who encouraged her to adapt the English language and look for a “gringo” boyfriend. Hernandez writes about her struggles at the intersection of her dual identity as American and Latina and her sexual awakening as a queer woman. This heartfelt journey to self-discovery is about exploring the possibilities that exist beyond the realm of familial expectations and finding the strength to stand up and say “this is me”. Learn more about Hernández by reading our list of Colombian writers you should know about.

Buy it here.

“Words from a Wanderer” by Alexandra Elle

Alexandra Elle’s passages are short but powerful making the collection “Words from a Wanderer” feel like you’re carrying around your best friend who is always there to uplift you. It features 62 affirmations (#anote2self) promoting self-love and self-worth and the value of putting in the work to get the desired outcome. This is the redesigned second edition of the collection originally published in 2013. Elle, a writer and wellness consultant, has published several journals with her latest, “Today I Affirm”,  coming out early next year.

Buy it here.

“Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life” by Gisele Bündchen

Supermodel Gisele Bündchen is known as the pretty face with the Amazonian body in glossy photos and runways but in “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life” she writes about the pain and anxiety she endured at the height of her fame. She’s candid about her suicidal thoughts in the wake of constant panic attacks that were only made worse by her unhealthy lifestyle that included smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Instead of popping Xanax, she decides to completely change her lifestyle by practicing yoga and medication daily and adapting healthier eating habits. Her ability to overcome her struggles and find love and peace is a reminder that while no one is immune to suffering everyone heals is similar ways.

Buy it here.

“Three-headed Serpent” by Ariana Brown

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This mini-chapbook by Afro-Mexican American poet Ariana Brown is a research project on curanderismo in her family. The stories are told through poems and interviews with her mother and grandmother focusing on spirituality, gender, race, and migration through the lens of three different generations. Ariana, who is dubbed a part-time curandera, is known for delivering powerful spoken word poetry and this chapbook is equally passionate and thought-provoking. Learn more about Ariana by reading our roundup of some of the most important Mexican and Chicana writers.

Buy it here.

“First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety” by Sarah Wilson

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Back when I wrote #firstwemakethebeastbeautiful my friend Rick rang me and asked, “Darl, why exactly are you writing this book?” "Because I can’t help it and because I’m sick of being lonely,” I replied. Then I said, “We must suffer alone. But we can at least hold out our arms to our similarly tortured, fractured, and above all else anxious neighbours, as if to say, in the kindest way possible, ‘I know’.” “Good,” Rick said and hung up. * * * This is from the first chapter of The Beast. Ahead of #worldmentalhealthday tomorrow I hold out my arms to all my neighbours from a place where I’m doing the work and going down into the pain (which are, indeed, the titles of other chapters in The Beast.) Be bold and behold your Beautiful Beast, anxious ones ???? And now, I return to the trenches… ???????? #mybeautifulbeast #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #newyorktimesbestseller

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The title of Sarah Wilson’s bestselling book is inspired by a Chinese proverb that states “before you can conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful” and in this case the beast is anxiety. Wilson’s memoir “First, We Make the Beast Beautiful” takes the theme of acceptance and applies it to finding a way to manage versus attempting to erase anxiety. Throughout the book she offers tips and practices to help reduce anxiety like making your bed in the morning to achieve a sense of control and accomplishment. “I bump along, in fits and starts, on a perpetual path to finding better ways for me and my mate, Anxiety, to get around,” she writes. Her practical approach will feel like a soothing balm to  those who battle the same beast.

Buy it here.  

Read: 13 Latinx Books Published This Year That Everyone Should Read

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