Remembering and celebrating the history of one’s family is an important part of Mexican culture. People honor their ancestors in a number of ways, including works of art, oral and written stories about their lives, and religious traditions. Mexico, as a country, also has a long and difficult history regarding the fight to gain their independence.
Many notable Mexican authors wrote novels describing life during and after the revolutionary war with Spain. Mexicans pay homage to influential writers by naming local streets after famous authors and poets. The literature of Mexico is internationally renowned as well. Our list of the most notable Mexican authors includes Octavio Paz, who was awarded a Nobel Prize for his poetry.
Martin Luis Guzman, born in 1887, was part of the Mexican Revolution led by Pancho Villa. A pioneer of the revolutionary novel, he translated his experiences during the war into books. Guzman was briefly jailed during a factional dispute and went on to pen his most notable work, a five-volume biography of Villa.
Octavio Paz was just a young man when he won a prestigious fellowship to study poetry in the U.S. He was a prolific writer of both poetry and essays and was very active in politics as well. Paz founded a number of Spanish language publications, along with publishing his own works. During his lifetime, he was awarded many international awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 76.
Carlos Fuentes was the author of sweeping historical novels that offered readers around the world an intimate look into Mexico’s complicated history. Fuentes was also politically engaged, writing works of social protest. He played an influential role in the explosion of Latin American literature during the 60s and 70s, what later became known as “El Boom.”
Jaime Sabines Gutierrez was a very popular poet, who attempted to use the written word to describe deep emotional themes, such as the struggle Mexicans feel between trying to honor traditional Mexican culture while dealing with the realities of the modern world. He was awarded Mexico’s Prize for Letters, the highest literary award.
Luis Spota never finished elementary school, but became a famous author, journalist and screenwriter, appearing frequently on TV and radio shows. Spota wrote over thirty books, mainly about life in Mexico’s biggest cities, including a book about the perilous world of bullfighting that was later made into a movie. He was also heavily involved in the sport of boxing, being named the first president of the World Boxing Council.
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There are also notable American authors who have written novels about Mexico. Although she was not born in the country, Jane Rosenthal visited Mexico for the first time as a teenager and was hooked. She’s travelled extensively in the country over the years and pens novels that incorporate her vast experiences and impressions of the country.
Rosenthal’s lifelong love affair with Mexican culture is beautifully woven into her first novel, Palace of the Blue Butterfly, which takes place largely in Mexico City.