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Five Authors in the Spotlight

Isabel Allende, Víctor Villaseñor, Jorge Ramos, Javier Sierra, and Cristina García

Which book should every Hispanic read? Why?

Isabel Allende: Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent by Eduardo Galeano, because it is a good introduction to the politics and the history of exploitation and imperialism in our continent. We need to be more aware!

Jorge Ramos: The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World by Carlos Fuentes, because he understands better than anyone else that America is a continent, not a country. Reading it, we understand our origins as Hispanics and how much we are linked not only to the rest of the United States but also to the rest of the world.

Javier Sierra: Without a doubt, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. And not only because it’s considered the first modern book of Spanish literature but because modern scholars have discovered traces of old kabbalah and Jewish mysticism among its pages.

Cristina García: Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, because they will teach you the beauty of compression, intelligence, and poetry. Each story is an extraordinary package, like a Fabergé egg. If you can only read one book, you will get a library’s worth in just a collection of his short stories.

Victor Villaseñor: My book Burro Genius, and I’ll tell you why. Right now, we have respect for the cultures of the Jews, the Greeks, all Europe, the Chinese, and the Japanese. We can’t say the same for us mezclados, the ones who are part European, part indigenous people, and part black from Africa—those three mixes—who no one respects. What Burro Genius does is show that there’s another culture with wisdom and the tools of genius that is just as important.

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