BOSTON - September 14, 2023 - To honor National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Boston Public Library (BPL) is releasing Vida Latina, a booklist of recent titles focusing on the cultures, histories, experiences, and diversity of the Hispanic and Latinx community. Celebrated from September 15 through October 15 annually, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions and experiences of Hispanic and Latinx Americans - specifically, those whose ancestors originated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The Vida Latina booklist is compiled by staff librarians from the Adams Street, East Boston, Faneuil, Lower Mills, and South Boston branches, along with the Central Library in Copley Square. With 108 titles, Vida Latina features books for adults, teenagers, and children by authors such as Renato Cisneros, Mariana Enriquez, Cristina García, Linda Ronstadt, and Danny Trejo. Genres from this collection include biography, expressions, history and contemporary issues, and fiction.
Each book on the list contains a brief synopsis and is accompanied by an image of the book cover as well as classification information. In addition to print books, select titles are available as an eBook, audiobook, or in Spanish as well as English.
Along with the booklist, the BPL will also celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with author talks and lectures, performing arts events, film screenings, book group discussions, arts and crafts workshops, and more. The full list of programs can be found at bpl.org/events. Highlights include:
- La Piñata - Latin American & Indigenous Cultural Arts Celebrations, opens a new window | 9/28, 9/29, and 10/2, Uphams Corner, Mattapan, and East Boston | Children will learn one song and one dance from a Latin American country with an emphasis on learning about the indigenous cultures that exist in that area. In this interactive workshop, participants will also make a mini piñata to take home as a souvenir.
- Hyde Park Book Club: Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez, opens a new window | 9/28, Hyde Park | Discussion of the 2022 book Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez; a novel about a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots, all in the wake of Hurricane María.
- 123 Andrés Concert, opens a new window | 10/2-10/4, Grove Hall, Jamaica Plain, Connolly, and Codman Square | Latin Grammy-winning music duo, 123 Andrés, performs songs in Spanish and English that will get children singing and learning.
- Documentary Club: Ruben Blades is Not My Name, opens a new window | 10/3, Mattapan | Screening of Ruben Blades Is Not My Name, a 2018 Panamanian documentary which chronicles the career and cultural influence of Panamanian American musician, actor, politician, and activist Ruben Blades.
- Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Boston Youth Poet Laureate Alondra Bobadilla, opens a new window | 10/6, Brighton | A poetry workshop for children led by Boston Youth Poet Laureate Alondra Bobadilla.
- A Conversation with Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Horror Fiction, Mexican Gothic and Silver Nitrate, opens a new window | 10/7, Central | Best-Selling Novelist and British Fantasy Award and Locus Award Winner will discuss two of her books with the head of our Reader Services Department, followed by an audience Q&A. An author signing facilitated by Trident Booksellers and Café will close the program.
- Kanopy Klub: East Side Sushi (2014), opens a new window | 10/12, Online | Discussion of East Side Sushi, a 2014 film about a Mexican American working-class single mother who finds new purpose by trying to become a sushi chef while working in a Japanese restaurant.
Additionally, BPL’s Special Collections Department welcomes patrons to a hands-on experience in the Special Collections reading room. The Special Collections Sampler for Hispanic Heritage Month will allow patrons to explore notable objects from the BPL's collections that represent the history and experiences of the Hispanic and Latinx communities.
The sampler includes a rare, signed copy of a 1955 Puerto Rican cookbook titled Cocina Criolla by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli; photographs by Carlota Duarte of residents of Villa Victoria in the South End, a housing development born out of housing activists in the neighborhood’s Puerto Rican community; Carta corografica del Distrito Federal , a "chorographic," or regional map of Mexico's Federal District, created in 1877 by Comisión de Cartografía; and a 1946 lithograph by printmaker and muralist Francisco Dosamantes titled Three Women in the Traditional Dress of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Patrons can delve deeper into the history of these objects a the Special Collections open house on October 10 from 2-4pm in the Special Collections reading room at the Central Library in Copley Square. Special Collections staff will be available to answer questions as visitors explore these items up close. For those unable to attend the open house, the items will be available throughout the month of October for use in the Special Collections reading room, Wednesday - Friday, 9:30am - 4:30pm, with no appointment necessary.
Other distinguished pieces from the BPL collection depicting Hispanic and Latinx history and achievements will be featured on BPL’s social media platforms during National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Physical copies of the Vida Latina booklist will be available at all BPL locations starting September 15, 2023; it can also be accessed digitally. In addition, the booklist and information about National Hispanic Heritage Month programs also appear on the BPL website at bpl.org and on the BPL social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
Patrons can view many years' worth of prior affinity booklists, such as those from Black History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and Native American Heritage Month in an online archive.
ABOUT THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large, free municipal library in the United States; the first public library to lend books; the first to have a branch library; and the first to have a children’s room.
The Boston Public Library of today is a robust system that includes the Central Library in Copley Square, 25 neighborhood branches, the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, the Kirstein Business and Innovation Center, and an archival center, offering public access to world-class special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints, along with rich digital content and online services.
The Boston Public Library serves nearly 4 million visitors per year and millions more online. All of its programs and exhibitions are free to all and open to the public. The Boston Public Library is a department of the City of Boston, under the leadership of Mayor Michelle Wu. To learn more, visit bpl.org.