Beyond Literary Landscapes—Classic Mexican Literature

Beyond Literary Landscapes—Classic Mexican Literature

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and outlining various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and can serve as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.


This week’s column is a follow up of last year’s column that focused on Mexican Literature in general.  Although that column was written when I was still in Canada, more recently, I have made the move to northwestern Mexico, where I have been residing for the past five and a half months.  It should come as no surprise that as a Spanish-speaking, AU literature student, I have spent this time attempting to further familiarize myself with classic—and current—Mexican authors and literary sensations.

Although various authors have been recommended to me, several names have been consistently brought up.  For this reason, I have first chosen to focus on the works of Juan Rulfo and Carlos Fuentes, who was briefly mentioned in my previous column.

Juan Rulfo, 1917 to 1986, “is considered one of the finest novelists and short-story creators in 20th century Latin America,” while  Carlos Fuentes, 1928 to 2012, is known as “one of the foremost Mexican writers of the 20th century.”


Some well-known works include the novella, Pedro Páramo and the short story collection, The Burning Plain (El llano en llamas) by Juan Rulfo.

In the case of Carlos Fuentes, a variety of novels are available, including The Death of Artemio Cruz (La muerte de Artemio Cruz) and Aura.


These works are set throughout Mexico.


Many of these short stories, novellas, and novels take place during the 19 and 20-centuries.


These works may be of interest to AU learners who would like an introduction to Classic Mexican Literature, or to find out more about these well-known authors.  Many of these works also provide a historical context, which may be of interest to AU History students.  They also feature innovative writing styles, which would be of interest to any AU Literature student.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to Classic Mexican Literature are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with an AU counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this topic may enroll in GLST 308: Americas: An Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean, a senior-level, three-credit course, which “present[s] a comprehensive picture of Latin America and the Caribbean.”  (Although no prerequisites are currently not required, please note that this course is currently temporarily closed.)

In addition, ENGL 458: The Latin American Novel, a senior-level, three-credit course, which focuses on “the Latin American novel, focusing on fiction and memoir written in the context of history, politics, culture, identity, and genre.”  (Note several prerequisites are required for this course.)  Happy reading!