Xolo Books amplifies intersectional and anti-colonialist literature written by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color through the selling, promotion, and celebration of books from around the world.
Jefa & Founder
My name is Oriana Peñaranda, and I am a Venezuelan-American immigrant. I grew up in Miami and currently live outside Washington, D.C.
I love books.
My family used to call me a “come libros” because I was always trying to satiate an endless appetite for literature. However, I seldomly saw my experiences as a Latina immigrant represented in the stories I read. In general most of the books I enjoyed centered on white experiences and were written by white authors.
I founded Xolo Books because I want to help people decolonize their reading habits, support BIPOC stories, and demand representation in books. I want to challenge myself and the Xolo Books community to use our power in uplifting BIPOC voices.
Ode to the Xolo
Meet Kirra Paez. She is a mixed Xoloitzcuintli that we adopted in the Fall of 2019. She is also the Xolo Books namesake.
Also called the Mexican Hairless dog, the Xoloitzcuintli is a dog breed with a history that goes back 3,500 years before Christopher Columbus colonized the Americas and indigenous cultures were conquered.
Aztecs and Mayans believe the gods created the Xolo to guard the living and guide the dead's souls through the Mictlán (the underworld). Spanish colonizers sought to eradicate the Xolo breed because it was the representation of a non-Christian god. But despite colonizers' best efforts, the Xolo continues to thrive today.
A very famous Xolo you might know is Dante from Pixar's Coco!
Xolo Books was created with the enduring spirit of the Xolo breed. Kirra and the Xolo represent survival and prosperity in a world that forces white supremacy. By promoting diverse stories and people, Xolo Books will guide readers away from colonialist narratives, storytelling, and literature.