“For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing” screamed the headline in The New York Times. I read it voraciously, thinking, finally, the shameful lack of Hispanic authors was not just identified but validated by the nation’s publication of record. The structural problems with the publishing industry would be called out. Solutions which would ultimately lead to more Latino writers being published.
Instead, my frustration boiled over with every word I read because the article missed the most fundamental reason for this exclusion: the active role of editors–and to a lesser but important degree agents, publicists, and media–in purposefully excluding Latin@ authors.
The lack of Hispanic characters, books, and the writers who pen them at every level–not just elementary school which is the subject of this article–is a function of the powerful gatekeepers who approve or ding a proposal. How do I know this? The Wise Latina Club was first imagined as a collection of twenty-five first person essays by household name Hispanic women who reveal the private stories that built their character, in effect the foundation upon which their success lies. This information can’t be googled but in coffee table book form, will surely provide much-needed inspiration for the millions of young women “coming up” thirsting for role models in school, career, and work/family balance…READ MORE.