Bienvenidas! The Vanguard of Mexican Women Writers

We’ve heard of the great Latin American writers of the 20th Century, from Borges to Bolaño, to Fuentes, García Marquez and Vargas Llosa. The list goes on and describes some of the most interesting and celebrated talent from major countries in the Northern, Central and Southern corridors of the Western Hemisphere. It’s a wide swathe, and a rich tapestry. But why not focus in, bring the lens around to a smaller tribe of writers less celebrated but carving their worlds out of the dominant male strata: female writers in Mexico.

Have we heard much said of these names outside of the strict borders of their own country and language? Check our shelves, you’ll find they’re well translated, critically acclaimed, even popular in their own circles. But have you heard of them?

The French-born, Mexican raised Elena Poniatowska, witty, sharp, always diplomatic in her disdain, and unstoppable.

Laura Esquivel, a politician in Mexico City who made herself famous with the tale of magical love through the flavors of extraordinary culinary receipts in Like Water For Chocolate.

The acclaimed journalist and novelist Angeles Mastretta, determined to bring the lives of women in Mexico to the forefront, exhibiting their strength and courage against incalculable odds.

Cristina Rivera Garza, a professor and writer in both English and Spanish, easily slipping back and forth across a border that has helped define her explorations of history and communication.

Young, daring and determined, Lydia Cacho is a journalist and writer intent on exposing an ever-darkening tide of crimes against women and children.

These women are the backbone of feminism in Mexico today. Browse the list of their works available, or take a look at our specific suggestions below:


Elena Poniatowska, Massacre in Mexico

The chilling story of how Mexico’s government turned on their own: the student massacre in Tlatelolco in 1968. Poniatowska gathers evidence from survivors of the massacre itself and details the tragic events, underlining a fault in Mexico’s governing system from the 60’s that could as easily be applied today.

Laura Esquivel, Malinche

This is Esquivel’s take on the story of Hernan Cortez, the Spanish Conquistador who invaded Mexico in the 16th century and how he took the young, beautiful indigenous woman Malinalli as his guide and interpreter. The girl would become Mexico’s Malinche, the most revered and controversial woman in the country’s history, and the mother of the first Mestizo.

Angeles Mastretta, Tear This Heart Out

A clever story of the classic role of women in Mexican society, the narrator of this novel exemplifies the strength, endurance and wit required by women to survive in a world that both revers and denies them.

Cristina Rivera Garcia, No One Will See Me Cry

The story of a woman so trapped by the society in which she lives she is relegated to the confines of an insane asylum.

Lydia Cacho, Slavery Inc.

Intensely disturbing, this investigative report reveals hard truths about the tourist industry. Cacho describes a very real, lucrative and thriving business just beneath the surface of our shared world.



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