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Riverhead Books

Hombrecito: A Novel by Santiago Jose Sanchez (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

Hombrecito: A Novel by Santiago Jose Sanchez (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

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Fiction - Cultural Heritage - Family Life - LGBTQ+


A novel by a brilliant new voice, Hombrecito is a queer coming-of-age story about a young immigrant’s complex relationships with his mother and his motherland

In this groundbreaking novel, Santiago Jose Sanchez plunges us into the heart of one boy’s life. His mother takes him and his brother from Colombia to America, leaving their absent father behind but essentially disappearing herself once they get to Miami.

In America, his mother works as a waitress when she was once a doctor. The boy embraces his queer identity as wholeheartedly as he embraces his new home, but not without a sense of loss. As he grows, his relationship with his mother becomes fraught, tangled, a love so intense that it borders on vivid pain but is also the axis around which his every decision revolves. She may have once forgotten him, disappeared, but she is always on his mind.

He moves to New York, ducking in and out of bed with different men as he seeks out something, someone, to make him whole again. When his mother invites him to visit family in Colombia with her, he returns to the country as a young man, trying to find peace with his father, with his homeland, with who he’s become since he left, and with who his mother is: finally we come to know her and her secrets, her complex ambivalence and fierce love.

Hombrecito—“little man”—is a moving portrait of a young person between cultures, between different ideas of himself. From an extraordinary new talent, this is a story told with startling beauty and intensity, a story for anyone searching for home, searching for a way to love.


Santiago Jose Sanchez (they/them), a Grinnell College assistant professor of English and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is a queer Colombian American writer. Santiago's writing has appeared in McSweeney'sZYZZYVASubtropics, and Joyland and been distinguished in Best American Short Stories. They are the recipient of a Truman Capote Fellowship from the University of Iowa and an Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellowship from Lambda Literary.

"Dynamic, electrifying, and oh so tender, Hombrecito is the rare kind of page-turner I devoured in two sittings. Utterly American and Colombian, this is a magnificent story for anyone on a mission to redefine home, loss, and love in all its complicated forms and sources."
--Xochitl Gonzalez, author of Olga Dies Dreaming

" Hombrecito is a gorgeous novel of the in-between, the waiting lull, and the changing mind, that shows Santiago Jose Sanchez to be a brilliant poet of silence, desire, light, and shadow. These sentences left me speechless."
--Brandon Taylor, author of Real Life

"Captures with rare vividness the rapture and terror of childhood, the way self-making and self-destruction can grow so tangled as to be indistinguishable. This is a novel of enormous insight, musicality, and love. Sanchez is a stunning new talent."
--Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness

" Hombrecito soars. A gorgeous, intense, and moving portrait of queerness, migration, desire, and abiding love. Sanchez has made something beautiful."
--Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of All This Could Be Different

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