Once known as the "City of Palaces," Mexico City has a dynamic and rich history that fascinates many. It is probably why many authors decide to set their story in the capital city.
Highlighting everything from archaeological sites to colonial Spanish influences, the flow of words in each of these books makes you imagine what it would be like to travel to Mexico City in different times throughout its rich history.
After reading, be sure to check out these cheap flights to Mexico City and start planning your next great escape.
Where the Air is Clear: Latin American author Carlos Fuentes wrote his debut book Where the Air is Clear in post-revolutionary Mexico City; one that is bizarre to imagine. It is a historical roller coaster through 500 years of Mexican History. It follows the lives of several individuals, many of those who are in the upper class and the drama that comes with it. Without spoiling the book itself, it truly is a reflection of the identity search Mexicans and Mexico itself struggles through as a part of its confusing, yet fascinating history.
Caramelo: Though she is known for the popular book The House on Mango Street, Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros writes an enriching story inspired by her life about the travels of a young girl between Chicago and Mexico City. Call it a semi-autobiographic coming of age story, it focuses on her annual visits to her grandmother in Mexico City. It touches on themes such as the importance of family in Mexican culture and the history of the Mexican Civil War and its impact on the capital. The story illuminates the chronological occurrences of the history between the United States and Mexico throughout this meaningful narrative.
The Heart of Jade: If you're looking for an exceptional historical novel that truly takes you back into time, The Heart of Jade is the book for you. Set in Pre-Columbian Mexico City, we get a glimpse into the daily lives of the Ancient Aztecs before they are conquered by Spanish nobles. It is more interesting than a textbook description of this takeover; the journey through history seems more personal and invigorating through her words. It is a true conflict between the Old World and the New World, putting historical figures to life as real people who just might root for as if we really knew them. Imagining the Old Mexico City vs the new is truly an imaginative experience only powerful words can do.
Tristessa: Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac is known for conveying epic travels through powerful words. This novella tells the romantic liaison between himself and a Mexican prostitute whose name was changed by the author to Tristessa, or sadness. The impoverished lifestyle his lover experiences in Mexico City is identified as he tries to introduce his own beliefs on her. This true story puts to life not only the struggle of a Mexican woman, but symbolizes the relationships and interactions made on a travel journey itself.
Montezuma's Daughter: Named after the famous tourist attraction, this remarkable novel tells the story of 16th century conquests over Mexico. It is from the point of view of an Englishman who joins the Spaniards and ends up marrying the daughter of a native King. His expat view in Mexico is enticing and almost like a dramatic romance novel with lots of adventure set in the historical backdrop of old Mexico City.
CC Flickr photo credit: LWY