Cinco de Mayo, which took place on May 5th, is usually mistaken for the Mexican Independence Day, however, that holiday is on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is for remembering the victory at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. This year, in addition to celebrating the Mexican-American relationship, people could read famous Mexican authors.
One prominent author is Cristina Rivera Garza. She lives in Matamoros, Mexico and has always been interested in writing. The only thing she says about herself is “I am me and my keyboard.” She teaches, writes creative writing, and has a PhD in History. She’s won multiple awards, such as Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature, the Anna Seghers International Prize, the Juan Vicente Melo National Short Story Award, and more. She’s written poetry, short stories, non fiction, novels, and one opera.
Laura Esquivel wrote Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate). It was transformed into a movie and was an international bestseller. That novel was published in 1989, but she has written many more. Her style is to use magical realism and include supernatural elements to add to her elements of love and self-acceptance. She lives in Mexico City. One of her famous quotes is “Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”
Valeria Luiselli has taken the world by storm with her collection of essays and fiction works. Her writing has been translated into various languages and she has appeared in many United States major magazines, such as the New York Times. One of her works, The Story of My Teeth, was published in 2015 and won multiple awards. Her style incorporates an autobiography-feel, even if the work is fiction. In an interview for Atlas Review she stated, “I’m very conscious of my being in space, and that comes into my writing. In that sense, yes of course, all my writing somehow comes and springs from my everydayness, but it’s not autobiographical.”
Everyone should celebrate the (correct) reasoning for Cinco de Mayo, but in the following days it’s a good plan to try and pick up some cultural media to expand every literary horizon.
-Laura Rodgers, Intern