Libertad: A Novel

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Virginia Tech


As the Honduran presidential election of 2017 approaches, the world of 17-year-old Libertad Morazán gets louder and faster. Protests roar in every corner of Tegucigalpa. Mamí and Abuela work longer hours. Maynor, Libertad's older brother, sneaks out more than ever, carrying the dangerous secrets of a student-led movement against the government. The world only seems to slow down around Camila, Libertad's long-time friend who lately seems to hold Libi's hand and eyes two seconds too long. Libi and Cami's friendship always toed the line of something more— or did, at least, before Libertad's phone stopped working and their communication got cut to school-hours only. Libi can't help but think this is part of why Camila starts officially dating Pablo, the soccer team captain. If this isn't enough reason to desperately need her phone back, Libertad has just discovered the power of social media to speak against the conditions that keep her family— her country— in a permanent state of exhaustion and mourning. Using an anonymous Instagram account, Libertad posts short but charged poems denouncing the injustice local news outlets ignore. She finds an audience that resonates with her, but people who speak out in Honduras are rarely able to do so for long. Libertad knows this. Getting her phone back comes with a price, as both her political poetry and secret romance risk being exposed to Mamí and Abuela—the women who have sacrificed everything to raised her. The pillars of her life. In the midst of civil unrest, Libertad learns of the power and heartbreak in queerness, family, and activism.



young adult, queer coming-of-age, coming-out narrative, civil unrest, sexuality, Latinx, police violence, political violence, activism, grief.