Panama declared its independence from Colombia on Nov. 3. The Central American country is best known for the Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Here’s a look at its writers:
• The blog Life and Literature in the Caribbean Diaspora, put together by a 2012 English class at Vanderbilt University, examines the works of literature from its residents, including poet Carlos Russell, left, a former United Nations ambassador. The blog A Year of Reading the World reviewed the Juan David Morgan novel The Golden Horse (El Caballo de Oro), which has not yet been translated into English.
• Veronica Chambers, right, who is of Panamanian and Costa Rican-Jamaican descent, has drawn upon her heritage for the Marisol and Magdalena series about two Latina tweenagers, as well as her 1997 memoir Mama’s Girl and the 2005 novel Miss Black America. She also has written the Amigas series and the children’s book Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa, as well as several non-fiction books.
• Cristina Henriquez, left, who is half-Panamanian, is the author of The World in Half and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, which both take place in Panama. Her next novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, about a Panamanian boy who falls in love with his Mexican next door neighbor, will come out in June 2014.
Sources: A Year of Reading the World, Voices From Our America, Life and Literature in the Caribbean Diaspora