Beyond Literary Landscapes—Contemporary Mexican Literature

Beyond Literary Landscapes—Contemporary 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 focuses on contemporary Mexican literature from popular writers, such as Brenda Navarro, Guadalupe Nettel, and Valeria Luiselli.


Some examples of contemporary Mexican literature include Empty Houses (Casas vacías) by Brenda Navarro, The Body Where I Was Born (El cuerpo en que nací) by Guadalupe Nettel, and The History of My Teeth (La historia de mis dientes) by Valeria Luiselli.


These novels primarily take place in and around Mexico City, Mexico.


These three novels have been written during the previous decade.


These works could be of interest to AU learners who want to become acquainted with contemporary Mexican writers who are increasingly innovative, in terms of style, form, and theme.  Some themes that students may enjoy include, family, loss, illness, and identity.  While these are available in English-language translation, for Spanish speaking AU students, the Spanish-language originals are widely available.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to Mexican contemporary literature are available in a variety of disciplines, including those 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 ENGL 458: The Latin American Novel, a senior-level, three credit-course, which focuses “on fiction and memoir written in the context of history, politics, culture, identity, and genre.”  (Please note that this course requires ENGL 211: Prose Forms and ENGL 212: Poetry and Plays as prerequisites.  In addition, students are advised to have completed ENGL 345: American Literature II, ENGL 361: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance, or another intermediate-level ENGL course).  Happy reading!