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Best books about Mexico and by Mexican authors

Mexico is unique and complex. A short story or long novel can transport the reader to a land of mountain regions, beaches, regional customs, and cuisine. Historians,novelists, and poets can bring a variety of perspectives.

We bring you a list of books representative of Mexico, its writers, its culture, its history, its people, its exuberance, and uniqueness.

Here are suggestions on books about Mexico:


Here are some of the best books by Mexican authors!

Arráncame la vida by Ángeles  Mastretta This story is about Catherine, a young girl who marries a candidate for governor.  Angeles Mastetta has received numerous awards. 

Aura by Carlos Fuentes This is a short novel about the beautiful Aura. It portrays the identity of the character in a dreamlike manner. It was published in 1962 and the narrative is written in second person.

Balún Canán by Rosario Castellanos This novel narrates the confrontations in Mexico between landowners and indigenous peasants. It was published in 1957.

Como agua para chocolate  by Laura Esquivel A novel that relates the history of an all-female family De La Garza. The youngest daughter is destined to look after her mother but falls in love with Pedro. She seduces him with the food she makes.

Confabulario by Juan José Arreola This book is composed of stories and prose, filled with imagination.

Los Amorosos: Cartas a Chepita by Jaime Sabines This book is a compilation of the letters between Jaime Sabines and his wife.


La Amada Inmovil by Amado Nervo

This is a song to a beloved woman, forbidden love, written during the modernist movement. Amado Nervo is considered one of the most important Mexican poets of the 19th century and published many poems. La Amada Inmovil was published after his death in 1920.

Los rituales del caos by Carlos Monsivais

This book is about Mexican society in general, written with humor. It includes details about religious, civic, mercantile, musical, and everyday Mexican rituals. Considered a leading intellectual of his time, Monsivais won more than 33 awards.

The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz

This novel is written in nine-parts, as a philosophical and historical essay on Mexican culture. Octavio Paz was a famous Mexican poet and diplomat. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994.

The Chair of the Eagle (La Silla de Aguila) by Carlos Fuentes

This story about various characters who desire to come to power, the chair of the eagle.

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo This story is about Pedro Páramo, set in an analysis of social relationships, loneliness, death and mourning, and dreams.

Primero Sueño by Sor Juana This is the most important and most extensive poem by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most important recognized female literary figures of the seventeenth century.

The poem was originally published in 1692.


These are fictional novels about Mexico!

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

Storyteller Lala witnesses how the three Reyes sons and their families drive south to the home of the Awful Grandmother and the Little Grandfather on Destiny Street in Mexico City. She tells of the truck stop donuts and street vendors with corn on the cob, and the smell of hot tortillas.

Macario by B. Traven

The short story Macario is probably based on the Der Gevatter Tod (Godfather Death). The story involves a Mexican peasant, broken by work and poverty. The story is Mexican in its relationship with Death.  

Treasure of the Sierra Madre by B. Traven. His most famous book also set in Mexico.

Mornings In Mexico by D.H Lawrence D.H. Lawrence dedicates four essays to Oaxaca. He describes the Saturday market, observing market, religion, and human exchanges in 1924.

Nezahualcóyotl: El despertar del coyote by Sofía Guadarrama Collado This book is about Emperor-poet Nezahualcóyotl, the young prince, and the daily lives of rulers and soldiers during his kingdom.

The Children of Sanchez  by  Oscar Lewis A book by American anthropologist Oscar Lewis about a Mexican family living in the Mexico City. It was published in 1961 and banned in Mexico for a few years.

The Heart of Jade by Salvador de Madariaga This book is about the Spanish Inquisition and the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish in the 1500’s.

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The Pearl by John Steinbeck This story is based on a Mexican folk tale. A poor diver gathers a large pearl as “perfect as the moon.” The story explores the hope, nature, and love of man.

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene This novel is about a Mexican worldly priest, who is being pursued.

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño This novel is about a 17-year-old poet who gets involved in activities of a literary movement. It is set in 1975 Mexico City.

The Teachings Of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda This book presents selections from field notes of the author. Under the influence of hallucinogenic plants and as an apprentice of Yaqui Don Juan Matus, the author submits an analysis of Don Juan’s belief system.

Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry The novel is about an alcoholic British consul, Geoffrey Firmin, living in a small Mexican town. It consists of twelve chapters, the first introduces the narrative, and the following eleven occur on the Day of the Dead in November 1939.


Alone In Mexico, The Astonishing Travels of Karl Heller, 1845 – 1848 by Karl Bartolomeus Heller This book consists of the memoirs of the Austrian botanist Heller and his travels through Mexico in 1845 to collect specimens. He describes conditions outside of Mexico City during that period. It is the first-ever English translation.

Álvaro Obregón, biografía de un caudillo by Elmy Grisel Lemus Soriano

Diego Rivera: A Biography by Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, Erika Cabrera This biography covers the life of painter Diego Rivera. It is chronologically arranged and reveals little known facts about his life.

Pedro Infante: El ídolo inmortal by Jose Ernesto Infante Quintanilla This book is an informed biography about Pedro Infante, the still remembered and admired actor, singer, and performer. It presents complete information about his life, films, and songs. The author carried out an exhaustive investigation.


Below are works about Mexico. They provide facts and educational information. Read on!

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City by Adriana Konzevik and Felipe Solis Olguin  (Editors)

Ancient Mexico

by Maria Longhena

Ancient Mexico provides information about the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Mayas, and Aztecs. It gives a historical overview, includes full-color photographs, and geographical information of the remains of anicent MExico.

On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey by Paul Theroux This book is about the journey Paul Theroux made to Mexico. He talks with residents, visits Zapotec workers in the highlands, and communes with Mexicans from over Mexico.

The Rough Guide to Mexico by John Fisher, Daniel Jacobs, Paul Whitfield and Zora O’Neill The Rough Guide to Mexico is the “go-to” travel guide. The book is filled with tips and suggested itineraries. It includes detailed maps, photography. and information. It highlights the best hotels, bars, clubs, shops, and restaurants for all budgets.


Emiliano Zapata: La vida y el legado del icónico líder de la Revolución Mexicana by Gustavo Vazquez Lozano

This book is about the life of Emiliano Zapata.

Elevación y caída de Porfirio Díaz by José López Portillo y Rojas

This book is a historical work about Porfirio Díaz.

México: Biografía del poder by Enrique Krauze

This is an overview of the history of Mexico -from the War of Independence to the departure of the leading political party. Profiles are presented. This book is one volume of three fundamental works of the historian Enrique Krauze.