Like Water for Chocolate (Esquivel)

Author Bio
Birth—September 30, 1950
Awards—ABBY Award by American Booksellers
   Association; 11 Ariel Awards by the Mexican
   Academy of Motion Pictures (for the film)
Currently—lives in Mexico

Laura Esquivel is a Mexican author making a noted contribution to Latin-American literature. She was born the third of four children of Julio Cesar Esquivel, a telegraph operator, and Josefa Valdes.

First novel
In her first novel Like Water for Chocolate (1989), Esquivel uses magical realism to combine the ordinary and the supernatural, similar to Isabel Allende. The novel, taking place during the revolution in early twentieth century Mexico, shows the importance of the kitchen in Esquivel's life. The book is divided into twelve sections, named after the months of the year, each section beginning with a Mexican recipe. The chapters outline the preparation of the dish and ties it to an event in the protagonist's life.

Esquivel 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 refers to a colloquial phrase used by the Spanish that means an extremity of feeling. It refers to a boiling point in terms of anger, passion and sexuality." The idea for the book 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. Tita never did anything but care for her own mother. Soon after her mother died, so did Tita.

Like Water for Chocolate was developed into a film in 1994, becoming one of the largest grossing foreign films ever released in the US. Esquivel earned 11 Ariel Awards from the Mexican Academy of Motion Pictures.

Other writings
Esquivel's second novel, The Law of Love (1996), takes place in the twenty-third century Mexico City and combines romance and science fiction. Reportedly, "the theme of romantic love, particularly love thwarted, appears repeatedly throughout her novels, as does the setting in Mexico."

Between Two Fires (2000) featured essays on life, love, and food. Her 2006 novel, Malinche, "explores the life of a near mythic figure in Mexican history—the woman who served as Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez's interpreter and mistress" as he fought to overthrow the Aztecs.

Personal life
Esquivel was once married to actor and director Alfonso Arau.  She currently lives in Mexico City. (Adapted from Wikipedia.)

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