Today is officially the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from September 15th to October 15th. During this month, accomplished Latinx and Hispanic Americans are recognized and celebrated for their achievements. This practice began under President Johnson as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was later expanded by President Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day time frame.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here are some quotes from eight famous Latinx and Hispanic authors that are worth celebrating.
Gabriel García Márquez
Age isn’t how old you are but how old you feel.
He who awaits much can expect little.
No medicine cures what happiness cannot.
Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian writer and novelist who lived from March 6th, 1927, to April 17th, 2014. His most well-known work is Cien Años De Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude). In addition to this, García Márquez also worked as a journalist and wrote numerous short stories. In 1982, García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, making him the fourth Latin American to receive the honor.
Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me.
Accept the children the way we accept trees—with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are.
Write what should not be forgotten.
Isabel Allende is a Chilean-American author who was born on August 2nd, 1942. She formerly worked as a journalist in Chile up until the 1973 assassination of President Salvador Allende, her father’s cousin. Due to this, Allende fled the country. Later, in 1981, she began writing her first novel, La Casa de los Espíritus (The House of the Spirits). More of her famous works include La Ciudad de las Bestias (City of the Beasts) and Mi País Inventado (My Invented Country).
In honor of her daughter Paula, she founded the Isabel Allende Foundation, which works to support the reproductive rights, economic independence, and freedom from violence against women and girls in both Chile and California. Allende has also won multiple awards, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.
Love is an attempt to penetrate another being, but it can only be realized if the surrender is mutual.
Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone.
Deserve your dream.
Octavio Paz was a Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat who lived from March 31st, 1914, to April 19th, 1998. From 1962 to 1968, Paz served as the Mexican ambassador to India. However, he later resigned in protest of the government due to the Tlatelolco massacre. Following this, he continued to work as an editor, publisher, and author. His most notorious novel, El Laberinto de la Soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude), focuses on Mexican identity. In recognition of his writing, Paz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride.”
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”
Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet, politician, and diplomat who lived from July 12th, 1904, to September 23rd, 1973. He was even at one point nominated for president in Chile but withdrew after reaching an agreement with another nominee, Salvador Allende. His most well-known collections include Canto General, Crepusculario, and Elemental Odes. Additionally, Neruda received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and is regarded as one of the most influential poets of the 20th century.
The beauty of literature is you allow readers to see things through other people’s eyes.
I tell people to write the stories that you’re afraid to talk about, the stories you wish you’d forget, because those have the most power. Those are the ones that have the most strength when you give them as a testimony.
I believe love is always eternal. Even if eternity is only five minutes.
Sandra Cisneros is a Mexican-American author who was born on December 20th, 1954. Diversity and Hispanic identity are common themes within her writing. Some of her most popular books include The House on Mango Street, Caramelo, and A House of My Own: Stories from My Life. In 2015, Cisneros was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.
I think we all have a little bit of that beautiful madness that keeps us walking when everything around is so insanely sane.
Only by living absurdly is it possible to break out of this infinite absurdity.
In quoting others, we cite ourselves.
Julio Cortázar was an Argentine writer who lived from August 26th, 1914, to February 12th, 1984. Fond of travel, Cortázar eventually settled down in Paris, where he wrote his first short-story collection, Bestiario (Bestiary), in 1951. Other well-known works of his include Rayuela and Hopscotch. Cortázar is regarded as one of the most important authors of South American magic realism.
Mario Vargas Llosa
One can’t fight with oneself, for this battle has only one loser.
It’s easy to know what you want to say, but not to say it.
Life is a shitstorm, in which art is our only umbrella.
Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian author born on March 28th, 1936. Two recurring themes within his works are social justice and reform. Some of Vargas Llosa’s more widely known pieces include The Time of the Hero, The Feast of the Goat, and The War of the End of the World. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.
It’s like my whole world is coming undone, but when I write, my pencil is a needle and thread, and I’m stitching the scraps back together.
A book does not discriminate against any reader. All are welcome at the table of literature.
Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American author born on March 27th, 1950. When she was still a child, her family was forced to flee the Dominican Republic due to her father’s involvement in a plot to overthrow the ruling dictator, Trujillo. Popular novels of hers include How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and ¡Yo! In 2013, Alvarez was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month even further, click here for three great reads.