3 novels by Mexican writers that explore death

Dia de Los Muertos is a deep-rooted Mexican tradition that honors the memory of loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s an annual celebration that sustains a rich mix of pre-Hispanic and Catholic beliefs, where death transcends from the earth to the spiritual world. At A Page In The Sun, we want you to enjoy this selection of literary works by prominent Mexican writers that explore the theme of death.

1. Pedro Páramo, Juan Rulfo

Pedro Páramo is a novel by Juan Rulfo that was published in 1955. This novel is considered one of the most important Mexican literary works. He has been the recipient of different awards such as the Xavier Villaurrutia Award (Mexico), the National Literature Award (Mexico) and the Prince of Asturias Award (Spain).

Synopsis: Pedro Páramo

The story takes place in the fictional town of Comala, Mexico. It all begins when Juan Preciado takes on a search for his father, Pedro Páramo, after a promise he made to his mother on her deathbed. Upon arriving at in Comala, he realizes that it is a mysterious and lonely town, where the line between the living and the dead is blurred.

Little by little, Juan discovers the dark secrets of his father, his connection with the inhabitants, and his own past. The novel alternates between the first-person narration of Juan Preciado and the voices that inhabit Comala. All because of an impossible love.

2. Aura, Carlos Fuentes

Aura is a fantastic novel written by Carlos Fuentes that was published in 1952. This work is one of the most outstanding of his career. He was a writer, intellectual, and diplomat with a thorough academic life at Harvard and Cambridge Universities.

Synopsis: Aura

The story takes place in a house in Mexico City. It follows the life of Felipe Montero, a young historian who accepts a job transcribing the memoirs of Consuelo Llorente's late husband. In their house, he meets Aura, with whom he feels a particular attraction. As the story progresses, Felipe begins to experience situations that challenge his understanding of reality.

The search for identity, the attraction to the unknown, and the connection between life and death are some of the themes explored in this literary work.

3. Take my life from me, Ángeles Mastretta

Arráncame la vida is a historical novel written by Ángeles Mastretta, published in 1985. Mastretta is a Mexican writer and journalist. She holds an honorary doctorate from the Autonomous University of Puebla and has collaborated with Excélsior, La Jornada, Nexos, Proceso, among others.

Synopsis: Rip my life away

The story unfolds in the era of the political and social events that shook Mexico in the 1930s. Catalina Guzman's life takes a radical turn when she marries Andrés Ascencio, a charismatic and ambitious politician. However, there is another man who becomes Catalina's true love, unleashing a series of passions, dilemmas, and even death. The story is in an environment marked by submission, machismo, corruption, abuse of power, and infidelity.

The narrative reveals Catalina's transformation from a submissive woman to empowerment. Thanks to her narrative voice, the reader can immerse themselves in her thoughts and emotions throughout the story.

Which book do you want to read first?

Tell us which book you chose to celebrate the Day of the Dead on Facebook. Stop by our Café-Bookstore to enjoy a hot chocolate with your favorite dessert. We are waiting!