Mythical creatures abound in literature. Whether it’s gold-hoarding dragons or flesh-eating zombies, the monstrous remains a permanent fixture in adult and children’s fiction. However, most of these literary representations have been inspired by European folklore. It’s easier to find a book with Romanian Strigoi attending high school than it is for Chile’s El Peuchén to terrorize its protagonist. The Loch Ness Monster is a household name, but readers will be hard-pressed to find stories centered on the Yacumama and its frightening antics in the Amazon River.
Despite the prevalence of beastly figures we’re familiar with, some authors are adding to the monster canon by drawing from their respective Latinx cultures. These recent and upcoming novels explore magical beings through the lens of underrepresented voices, specifically the Latinx diáspora living in the U.S. Their stories also provide varied definitions of family, fear, and straddling the line between belonging and not.