MY BEST FRIEND AND I traded Ana Castillo’s The Mixquiahuala Letters back and forth during high school, inspired by the novel’s clear-eyed depiction of a long friendship between two women artists. In her new short-fiction collection, Doña Cleanwell Leaves Home (HarperVia), Castillo invents domestic dramas from Chicago to Mexico, revealing decades-old household secrets and the women who must navigate them. The queen of feminist Chicana fiction closes out with the potent title story, in which Katia must decide between joining the farmworkers’ movement and getting her newly liberated mother to come home for good.      

Read more: Poet Tommy Archuleta's book "Susto" focuses on the traditional art of curanderismo and the journey through loss and grief.