16 Best Mexican Authors

Do you want to know who the best authors in Mexico are? We’ve got you covered! Mexico, rich in culture, history, and different landscapes, has produced some of the world’s most gifted and vital writers.

Mexican literature, from magical realism to social criticism, presents a diverse spectrum of viewpoints that attract readers and welcome them into the complexities of Mexican life.

We will look at the finest Mexican authors whose writings have crossed limitations and left an unforgettable effect on the literary world.

16 Best Mexican Authors

16 Best Mexican Authors

1. Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz was a Mexican activist, novelist, and journalist who was renowned as a progressive figure. Paz is well-known for his poetry and writings, many of which examine literature and art through a critical lens. The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz, released in 1952, includes a selection of his works.

He was introduced to literature at a young age and frequently read from his grandfather’s library collection. So, in 1931, as a youngster, he wrote his first poem Cabellera.

One of his most renowned works is El laberinto de la Soledad, a collection of essays in which Octavio Paz investigates Mexican history and society.

He also went to the University of California, Berkeley, and then sought a career in diplomacy. Following his time as a diplomat and poet, he died on April 19, 1998.

Notable Awards:

  • Nobel Prize in Literature (1990)
  •  Miguel de Cervantes Prize (1982)
  •  Xavier Villaurrutia Award (1956)
  • Menéndez Pelayo International Prize (1987)

Famous Works:

  • Piedra de sol
  • Ladera este
  • El mono gramático

2. Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes, described by The Guardian as “Mexico’s most celebrated novelist,” was a well-known Latino author. Fuentes moved to Mexico as a youngster and studied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

He published short pieces for the daily newspaper Hoy while studying. While still writing, Carlos lectured at Cambridge, Harvard, and several other colleges. He passed on May 15, 2012, although he is still considered Mexico’s most renowned author.

Notable Awards:

  •  Freedom of Speech Award (2006)
  •  Xavier Villaurrutia Award (1975)
  •  Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor (1999)
  • Rómulo Gallegos Prize (1977)

Famous Works:

  • The Death of Artemio Cruz
  • Christopher Unborn
  • Terra Nostra

3. Guadalupe Nettel

Guadalupe Nettel

Guadalupe Nettel was born with eyesight impairments and was frequently bullied as a kid, prompting her to withdraw into the realm of literature. This Mexican author was born in Mexico City in 1973.

Nettel’s fiction and nonfiction writings have been translated into more than 17 languages. Nettel is the second-ever female administrator of Revista de la Universidad de Mexico and lives in Mexico City.

Notable Awards:

  • El Grand Balam award (2024-2026)
  • International Booker Prize (2023)
  •  Calamo Prize (2020)
  • Gilberto Owen National Prize of Literature (2008)

Famous Works:

  • La Hija Unica
  • The Body Where I Was Born
  • Natural Histories: Stories
  •  After the Winter

4. Juan Villoro

Juan Villoro

Juan Villoro is a renowned Mexican novelist and the son of prominent philosopher Luis Villoro. He is a Mexican writer who was born in Mexico on September 24, 1956. He is well-known for his novels, short tales, essays, and picture books for children.

He has published several Mexican publications and has dabbled in theater writing throughout his career.

He holds honorary degrees from both the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo as well as the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. He has served as an associate of El Colegio Nacional since 2014.

Notable Awards:

  • Herralde de Novela
  • Premio Xavier Villaurrutia
  • Manuel Rojas Ibero-American Narrative Award

Famous Works:

  • El testigo
  • Espejo Retrovisor
  •  Los Once de la Tribu
  •  The Wild Book

5. Yuri Herrera

Yuri Herrera

Yuri Herrera, born in Actopan, Mexico, studied politics in Mexico before moving to El Paso to pursue creative writing.

Signs Preceding the End of the World, which he first translated into English, was met with widespread appreciation. Currently, he is an associate professor at Tulane University.

Notable Awards:

  • Best Translated Book Award for Signs Preceding the End of the World
  •  Ursula K. Le Guin Prize

Famous Works:

  •  Signs Preceding the End of the World
  •  The Transmigration of Bodies
  •  Kingdom Cons

6. Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli is a Latina author renowned for her bestselling novel Faces in the Crowd. She was born in Mexico City. Luiselli has five novels to her credit and spends the majority of her time on advocacy.

She along with her niece teaches creative literary arts to imprisoned young people at an upstate New York immigration center. Luiselli received a MacArthur Fellowship this year and is a writer-in-residence at Bard College.

Notable Awards:

  •  American Book Award (2018)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts (2020)

Famous Works:

  •  Sidewalks
  •  Faces in the Crowd
  •  The Story of My Teeth
  •  Lost Children Archive

7. Laura Esquivel

On September 30, 1950, this Mexican writer and politician was born in Mexico City. Laura Esquivel is famous for her best-selling novel, Like Water for Chocolate, which was subsequently adapted into a successful film.

Esquivel, who was trained as a teacher, formed a children’s theater school and produced and wrote children’s dramas.

She initially married Alfonso Arau, an actor and director with whom she worked on numerous films. Esquivel and her current spouse live in Mexico City.

Notable Awards:

  •  American Book Award (2018)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts (2020)

Famous Works:

  • Like Water for Chocolate
  •  Malinche
  •  Mi negro pasado
  •  Lo que yo vi

8. Juan Rulfo

Juan Rulfo

Juan Rulfo served as a Mexican writer and photographer most famous for his works El Llano en llamas, a collection of short tales, and Pedro Páramo, a book.

Rulfo had a rough childhood, having lost both of his parents at an early age. Rulfo, who was raised by his grandmother, struggled throughout his childhood while his family’s money slipped into the hands of Roman Catholics.

His first job was as an immigration file clerk, and he eventually joined the military after being persuaded to do so by a cousin.

Notable Awards:

  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts (1968)
  •  Ariel Award for Best Original Story (1987)
  •  Princess of Asturias Award for Literature (1983)

Famous Works:

  •  El Llano en llamas
  •  Pedro Páramo

9. Juana Ines de la Cruz

This prominent Mexican author was a philosopher, musician, and poet. She was born in Mexico on November 12, 1648. Juana learned on her own at her grandfather’s library.

She was well-known in Philosophy circles when she was in her teens. She was adaptable and entered a convent in 1667. While there, she changed her nun’s apartments into a salon that attracted New Spain’s intellectual elite at the time.

She died on April 17, 1695, and was ignored for generations until Octavio Paz highlighted her relevance in modern times. She is now respected as a focal point for feminist campaigning on issues like women’s religious authority, educational rights, and others.

Famous Works:

  •  To Her Portrait
  •  Caprice
  •  Suspend, Singer Swan
  •  Love Opened a Mortal Wound
  •  Since I’m Condemned
  •  You Foolish Men

10. Martin Luis Guzman

Martin Luis Guzman

On October 6, 1887, the Mexican author and journalist was born. He is regarded as one of the forefathers of the revolutionary novel genre.

Martin Luis Guzmán is largely regarded as one of the Revolution’s most prominent writers, hailed for his brilliance, narrative clarity, and passion in denouncing the ills of authority.

Martin Luis Guzmán is the creator of Tiempo magazine and the first president of the National Commission for Free Textbooks. On December 22, 1976, he died at the age of 89.

Notable Awards:

  • Mexico’s National Prize in Literature (1958)

Famous Works:

  •  La querella de México (1915)
  •  A orillas del Hudson (1920)
  •  La sombra del caudillo (1929)

11. Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros is an essayist, novelist, poet, performer, and short story writer of Mexican descent. Cisneros’ writing, most known for her novel The House on Mango Street, addresses the junction of Mexican-American culture and dives into what it takes to be a Chicana woman who lives in the United States.

Her cultural diversity inspired her work, which focused on her time living in Chicago’s Puerto Rican community.

She drew inspiration for her work The House on Mango Street from Mexican as well as Southwestern popular culture. She attempted to show the lives of individuals to whom she could connect.

Notable Awards:

  •  The PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature (2019)
  •  Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction (1993)
  •  American Book Award (1985)
  •  Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (1991)

Famous Works:

  •  The House on Mango Street

12. Rosario Castellanos

Rosario Castellanos

Castellanos was born in Mexico City on May 25, 1925. The poet was dedicated to tackling issues of cultural and gender inequality in her art.

Rosario Castellanos is a prominent poet in twentieth-century literature and one of Latin America’s most influential female writers. She was a prolific writer of poetry, drama, and essays.

Castellanos weaves Catholic elements throughout her writing. After reading the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila along with Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, she became intensely engaged in religion.

Notable Awards:

  •  Xavier Villaurrutia Award (1960)
  •  Chiapas Award (1958)
  •  Carlos Trouyet Award of Letters (1967)
  •  Elías Sourasky Award of Letters (1972)

Famous Works:

  •  Balun-canan
  •  City of Kings
  •  Oficio de tinieblas
  •  Rito de iniciación

13. Don Miguel Ruiz

On August 27, 1952, this Mexican novelist was born in Mexico. Miguel Ruiz is a supporter of the New Thought movement, which emphasizes old ideas as a means of gaining spiritual insight.

Don Miguel Ruiz is a popular spiritual teacher as well as a best-selling author. He has worked for the last three decades guiding people to personal emancipation via his unique insights into the nature of human existence.

Notable Awards:

  •  U.S. Air Force ‘challenge coin’

Famous Works:

  •  The Four Agreements
  •  The Fifth Agreement
  •  The Mastery of Love
  •  Don Miguel Ruiz’s Little Book of Wisdom

14. Jorge Ibarguengoitia

Jorge Ibarguengoitia

Jorge Ibargüengoitia was indeed a Mexican journalist and writer. He is regarded as one of the most sardonic and astute voices in twentieth-century Latin American writing, as well as a mordant critic of his country’s social and political realities.

After creating 17 plays for the stage but being frustrated by his lack of success, he switched to prose writing and became one of the most influential Mexican authors of his period.

His stage works, which are distinguished by sophisticated sarcasm and a highly critical edge, have led to his recognition as one of today’s most valuable and outstanding dramatists. He is well-known for his novels, short tales, and journalism.

Notable Awards:

  •  Premio de Teatro Ciudad de México (1960)
  •  Premio de Teatro de la Casa de las América (1963)
  •  Premio de Novela de la Casa de las Américas (1964)

Famous Works:

  • The Dead Girls
  • Two Crimes

15. Fernando del Paso

Fernando del Paso

Fernando del Paso is a famed author most known for his long, experimental, and funny novels about Mexican society.

Upon graduating from the National University of Mexico with degrees in biology and economics, he released his first book, Everyday Sonnets, in 1958.

Noticias del Imperio is a significant contribution to the new historical fiction in Latin America. The author describes the work, which is based on the stories of Maximilian and Carlota as well as the French Intervention in Mexico, as a “historiographic” fiction.

Notable Awards:

  •  Xavier Villaurrutia Award (1966)
  •  Romulo Gallegos Prize (1982)
  •  Miguel de Cervantes Prize (2015)
  •  Alfonso Reyes International Prize (2013)

Famous Works:

  • Sonetos del amor y de lo diario
  •  Jose Trigo
  •  Palinuro de Mexico
  •  Noticias del Imperio

16. Josefina Vicens

Josefina Vicens

Josefina Vicens, better known as La Peque, was a Mexican journalist and author. Josephina, who was born in 1988, was one of the country’s most influential female writers.

Even though she only authored two books, she is considered a cornerstone of modern Mexican writing. Josefina Vicens’s The Empty Book is a meta-fiction literary work centered around Jose Garcia, a novelist who struggles to write.

The novel depicts the difficulty of expressing thoughts while living what the protagonist considers to be a substandard existence.

Notable Awards:

  •  Xavier Bilartia Prize (1958)
  •  Ariel Award for Best Original Screenplay for Los Perros de Dios

Famous Works:

  •  El libro vacío (1958)
  •  The false years (1982)

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