The 2021 Top 10 list shines with debut authors in various genres. This year’s list was so good that for the first time ever we could not pick a top spot, so we have listed the selections in alphabetical order. Congratulations to our authors for being part of an elite top ten list that started in 2006, the oldest of any website.
M. Soledad Caballero’s poetry collection, I Was a Bell, won the 2021 Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award. Caballero explores memory, war in Chile, and immigration to the U.S. in a deeply personal and touching way.
Jamie Figueroa’s novel, Brother, Sister, Mother Explorer, was described by The New York Times as a “Beautifully crafted, poetic book,” and they were right on target.
There’s a reason why you might have seen this novel on Good Morning, America or featured by Roxane Gay’s book club. Gabriela Garcia‘s Of Women and Salt is a moving narrative about immigration and womanhood. The sentences sing!
Elizabeth Gonzalez James‘ novel, Mona at Sea, about a directionless millennial will have you chortling or possibly even laughing out loud.
Ananda Lima had a stunning debut with her first full collection, Mother/land, which was shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books Chriby Awards.
Antonio López’ Gentefication was selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Gregory Pardlo, for the Four Way Books Levis Poetry Prize, and with reason. López’ poems are thought-provoking and lyrical.
Dominican-American writer, Brenda Peynado, delights with her story collection, The Rock Eaters, a surreal yet sublime read.
Janel Pineda’s poetry collection, Language of Rain, was the most mesmerizing Latinx chapbook of the year. Her poems demonstrate a tremendous range stylistically and thematically as they explore such topics as El Salvador, family, and love and pain.
Raquel V. Reyes’ Mango, Mambo, and Murder is an excellent debut in the culinary mystery genre. Delicious and cozy with a spunky heroine, it also includes some Cuban recipes that readers may want to try at home. Great cultural references, Santeria, herbalism and a sprinkling of Spanish make this novel both informative and a pleasure to read.
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