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Laura Esquivel
(30 September 1950 - living) Mexico

Laura Esquivel

Novelist, screenwriter


Laura Alicia Palomares Esquivel was born the third of four children to Julio César Esquivel, a telegraph operator, and Josefa Valdés, a homemaker. She serves at present in the Chamber of Deputies (2012-2018) for the Morena Party. Her first novel Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) became a bestseller in Mexico and the United States, and was later developed into an award-winning film.

In this novel released in 1989, Esquivel uses magical realism to combine the ordinary and the supernatural, with narrative devices similar to those used by Cuban author Alejo Carpentier as "el real maravilloso" and by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez and Chilean author Isabel Allende. Como agua para chocolate is set during the Mexican Revolution of the early twentieth Century and features the importance of the kitchen and food in the life of its female protagonist, Tita. The novel is structured as a year of monthly issues of an old-style women's magazine containing recipes, home remedies, and love stories, and each chapter ("January," "February," "March," etc.) opens with the redaction of a traditional Mexican recipe followed by instructions for preparation. Each recipe recalls to the narrator a significant event in the protagonist's life.

Esquivel has stated that she believes that the kitchen is the most important part of the house and characterizes it as a source of knowledge and understanding that brings pleasure. The title Como agua para chocolate is a phrase used in Mexico to refers to someone whose emotions are about to "boil," because water for chocolate must be just at the boil when the chocolate is added and beaten. The idea for the novel came to Esquivel "while she was cooking the recipes of her mother and grandmother." Reportedly, "Esquivel used an episode from her own family to write her book. She had a great-aunt named Tita who was forbidden to wed and spent her life caring for her mother. Soon after her mother died, so did Tita."

Esquivel's second novel, La ley del amor (Grijalbo 1995 Mexico), translated as The Law of Love (trans. Margaret Sayers Peden, Crown-Random, 1996), is described by literary critic Lydia H. Rodríguez as a "narrative [that] deconstructs the present to create a twenty-third century where remarkable invention and familiar elements populate a gymnastically-paced text" whose "conflicts . . . set the Law of Love (as a cosmic philosophy) in motion" .

Her father's death in 1999 was the inspiration for Tan veloz como el deseo . Trained as a teacher, Esquivel founded a children's theater workshop and wrote and produced dramas for children. She first married actor, producer, and director Alfonso Arau, with whom she collaborated on several films. Esquivel and her husband the actor and director Alfonso Arau (from 1975 to1995). made their home in Mexico City.

In March 2009 Laura Esquivel ran as preliminary candidate of the Local Council in District XXVII of Mexico City for the PRD. Her candidacy was supported by the current Izquierda Unida, which combined various PRD groups. In 2012, she was elected Federal Representative for the Morena Party. She has also served as head of the Mexico City Cultural Committee and member of the Science & Technology and Environmental Committees for the Morena Party.


Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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