According to the Pew Research Center, Latinos of Cuban descent are the 3rd largest Latino group in the U.S (tied with Salvadorans), totaling 2.3 million in 2017. The list of Cuban-American authors represents their tremendous success in every genre.
Ruth Behar is books include The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village, Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s Story, and The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart. She is co-editor, with Deborah Gordon, of Women Writing Culture. She is the author of An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba and Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in between Journeys. She is the editor of the pioneering anthology, Bridges to Cuba, now marking its 20th anniversary, and co-editor, with Lucía Suarez, of The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World.
Richard Blanco is the author of City of a Hundred Fires (1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), One Today (2013); Boston Strong (2013); and How to Love a Country (2019). Blanco served as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States.
Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of verse books including The Surrender Tree, Enchanted Air, Forest Work, and Drum Dream Girl. Her newest books include Dancing Hands, Dreams From Many Rivers, and With a With a Star in My Hand.
Joy Castro is the author The Truth Book, two literary thrillers, Hell or High Water and Nearer Home, the essay collection Island of Bones, and the short fiction collection How Winter Began.
Oscar Hijuelos, the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, for The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989), is the author of Mr. Ives’ Christmas, Our House in the Last World, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O’Brien, and Empress of the Splendid Season.
Cristina Garcia is the author of seven novels, including: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba, and Here in Berlin.
Ernesto Mestre-Reed is the author of two novels, The Lazarus Rumba and The Second Death of Unica Aveyano.
Daniel José Older is the author of the YA series The Shadowshaper Cypher, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and the middle-grade historical fantasy Dactyl Hill Squad.
Alisa Valdes is the author of The Dirty Girls Social Club, Playing With Boys, Dirty Girls on Top, a sequel to The Dirty Girls Social Club, The Husband Habit, All That Glitters, Lauren’s Saints of Dirty Faith in 2011, The Temptation, Puta, and other novels.
Emma Trelles is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press), winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize and a finalist for Foreword-Indies poetry book of the year. She is writing a second collection of poems, Courage and the Clock. Her work is anthologized in Verse Daily, Best American Poetry, Best of the Net, Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity, and others
Rich Villar is a poet, essayist, and educator originally from Paterson, New Jersey. He is the author of Comprehending Forever (Willow Books, 2014), and his poetry and commentary have appeared on HBO, NPR, and in numerous journals and anthologies. Rich leads poetry workshops and arts integration classrooms in high schools, middle schools, and educative spaces throughout the Northeast; he served as faculty for the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching in 2016. He is also a founding member of the Títere Poets, a collective of poets dedicated to challenging toxic masculinity within the Latinx community and beyond.
Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the bestselling memoir In the Dream House and the award-winning short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of “The New Vanguard,” one of “15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.”
Bessy Reyna is the author of two bilingual books of poetry, The Battlefield of Your Body (Hill-Stead Museum, 2005) andMemoirs of the Unfaithful Lover/ Memorias de la amante infiel (tunAstral, A.C., 2010, Toluca Mexico). A chapbook of her poems, She Remembers, was published by Andrew Mountain Press in 1997. Her Spanish language writing, published in Latin America, includes a poetry chapbook, Terrarium (Instrucción Programada de México, 1975), and a collection of short stories, Ab Ovo (Instituto Nacional de Cultura, Panama, 1977).
Dan Vera is a writer, editor, watercolorist, and literary historian. The recipient of the Oscar Wilde Award for Poetry and the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, he’s the co-editor of Imaniman: Poets Writing In The Anzaldúan Borderlands (Aunt Lute Books) and author of two books of poetry, Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press) and The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books).
Mirta Ojito is a journalist and an author who began her career in 1987. First, working for The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, and later for The New York Times, where she won several awards, including a shared Pulitzer for national reporting in 2001 for a series of articles about race in America, and an American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Best Foreign Reporting for her work in Cuba. At The Times, she covered immigration and contributed a piece to the New York Times Sunday Magazine that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She is the author of two works of non-fiction, Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus, and Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All American Town.
Click on the links below and check out how the following authors have also made great contributions to Cuban American literature.