Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. In November, we’re in Mexico.
If you love gothic literature:
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic (2020)*
19th century gothic literature has cast a long shadow–Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have influenced generations of writers, some of whom went on to pen classic gothic works in their own right (such as Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca). One of the most strikingly original of these is Mexican Gothic, which owes a lot to H.P. Lovecraft as well. Set in 1950s Mexico, glamorous socialite Noemí has no idea what gothic horrors await her when she responds to a panicked letter from her cousin Catalina, who has recently married the heir of a British mining company. Noemí travels to the family’s spooky villa in the mountains of Mexico. Deeply unsettling complications ensue.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Leslie Marmon Silko and Shirley Jackson.
*Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.
If you enjoy history:
Camilla Townsend’s Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs (2019)
Aztec history is usually presented from the perspective of Spanish conquistadors, like Hernando Cortes. However, the Aztecs themselves wrote extensive records about their long history. For the most part, these records have remained untapped by historians, largely because they were little known and untranslated. Historian Camilla Townsend has remedied that situation and relied only on these documents for this groundbreaking book, presenting Aztec history from an Aztec perspective.
Recommended for those who enjoy Latin American history.
If you prefer historical fiction:
Mario Escobar’s Remember Me (2020)
This book starts in Spain in the 1930s before switching settings to Mexico. Based on the stories of the real-life Children of Morelia, refugee children who were relocated from Spain to Mexico during the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Remember Me focuses specifically on one family–the Alcaldes–as 13-year-old Marco takes responsibility for his 2 younger sisters on the long trip to Mexico, where they wait for word on their parents.
Recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction about the 1930s.
If you like YA:
Veronica Chambers’s The Go-Between (2017)
As the daughter of 2 of Mexico’s most famous actors, Cammi lives a privileged life in Mexico City. When her mother gets a job on an American TV show, the prospect of relocating to L.A. seems exciting and glamorous–until it isn’t. Cammi’s parents face professional obstacles, but Cammi has problems of her own at the prestigious private school she attends, where everyone assumes she’s the impoverished daughter of a maid.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Jenny Han and Melissa De La Cruz.
If you want children’s literature:
Yuyi Morales’s Soñadores (2018)
We have both Spanish and English translations of this book in our system–a lovely autobiographical story from the author about her journey from Mexico to America with her young son and how she learned English with him from children’s library books–but I wanted to highlight our Spanish language collection. We’ve been working to expand it over the past couple of years and now have a wide variety of Espanol items to check out, including but not limited to books for adults and kids, magazines, and audiobooks.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Edwidge Danticat.
What’s your favorite book set in Mexico? Who’s your favorite Mexican author? Have you ever been to Mexico? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.