Literature in Spanish would lose much of its value were it not for all the contributions that the great Mexican writers have brought.
For all lovers of good literature who are able to enjoy a cup of tea (or coffee) and a good book, we bring this compilation of great writers in Mexican history. Many of them have received worldwide recognition and numerous awards that show that they have been as loved by critics as by their readers.
It is worth mentioning that the fact that there is a majority of men is not a coincidence. We do not doubt that many women could have become great writers if they had not because they were born in a macho societythat prevented their flourishing and that their works were disclosed in the same way that the works of male writers do.
Without further delay, we show the list of the essentials. A selection of the elite as far as literature is concerned. We warn since the order is more a personal selection than an absolute hierarchy. 10. Juan Jose Arreola (1918 – 2001)
This is one of the most exciting cases at an autobiographical and educational level, since he became one of the great writers of Mexico, without even finishing primary school . However, he reached the top thanks to his completely self-taught training.
Throughout his life he was forced to perform various jobsand little by little he managed to work on what he really liked, writing.
In addition to this, he also worked as a translator and is considered a writer of the fifties generation , like the next one we will talk about: Emilio Pacheco.
Some of the most outstanding and unique works of his are those belonging to those known as fantastic stories and also to the minifiction stories . The latter are characterized by being short narratives with playful objectives and ironic and metafictional features (a reflection on reality and fiction, as well as the thin line between them). 9. Jose Emilio Pacheco (1939 – 2014)
Emilio Pacheco, who died a few years ago, was one of the great writers in the Spanish language for many of his works, but especially for poetry . He also belongs to the so-called Generation of the Fifties.
He also cultivated the story, the novel, the essay and even worked as a successful translator. I highlight his vision of literature as something in constant evolution, which often led him to review and rewrite his own works.
In all probability he is one of the writers with a more varied production, since he also did works related to cinema, journalism and music 8. Rosario Castellanos (1925 – 1974)
Rosario Castellanos Figueroa is for many the best writer of the 20th century. Her work as a Mexican diplomat along with her literary abilities allowed her to be recognized worldwide for her ability and style .
As her diplomat, she focused much of her efforts on denouncing the differences between, on the one hand, men and women, and on the other, whites and Latin American Indians. 7. Elena Poniatowska (1932)
Awarded the Cervantes Prize, this octogenarian writer of Mexican origin who was born in Paris (France) has been one of the great writers of recent history in Spanish. She has written novels, theater, poetry and short stories among others., demonstrating its capacity and flexibility when it comes to producing any type of work, without sacrificing quality.
In addition, he gained special fame when he wrote the biographies of some iconic women, through whom the rest of the world has been able to get to know even better.
As would be expected from a woman of her abilities, she wrote especially about poverty, the social problems of her country and her world , as well as denouncing the injustices experienced by ordinary people. 6. Juan Villoro (1956)
Born in Mexico City, this writer continues to this day producing and expanding his extensive and young work (if we compare it with the rest).
Probably influenced by the studies of his father (who is a philosopher) and his mother (a psychoanalyst),He opted for a sociology degree , which would end up completing the influences that flood his works, giving them a particular and unique charisma.
He is currently quite immersed in the journalistic panorama of his country and writes from (of course), literature, to topics such as sports, music and cinema. 5. Carlos Monsivais (1938 – 2010)
This Mexican writer was one of the great journalists of his time who dedicated much of his life to writing from fables and aphorisms to essays and biographical texts.
Without a doubt, he stood out for his political positions since he began, which led him to stand out, but also to create enemies for him. He dealt with issues like authoritarianism, the pre-established order, and conservative movements in general. 4. Juana Ines de la Cruz (1651 – 1695)
She is popularly known as Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. This writer with religious features was one of the greatest exponents of what is considered the Golden Age of Spanish literature. Despite being a woman born in the 17th century, she learned to read and write prematurely , already showing an almost innate interest in letters.
The writer she tried from comedy to love and courage. In addition, she is a very powerful image for feminism because she was even a defender of women as strong and self-sufficient characters. A true feat for the time and the context that surrounded him. 3. Carlos Fuentes (1928 – 2012)
Carlos Fuentes was about to win the Nobel Prize, since he had a large number of followers who defended his candidacy. In any case, this, together with his great ability and unbeatable work, was not enough to obtain such an award.
Much to our regret, even the well-known Mario Vargas Llosa publicly affirmed that Fuentes should be the next winner of the Nobel Prize , but even so there was no success.
Like most of the greats, Carlos Fuentes wrote from novels and essays, to short stories and even a memoir (in English). 2. Juan Rulfo (1917 – 1986)
His full name is actually Juan Nepomuceno Carlos Perez Rulfo Vizcaino. That is probably why almost everyone knows him simply as Juan Rulfo.
This writer, or better said, artist, stands out with respect to the rest of the components of this list for having written from essays to scripts of various types; and of course, for his work as a photographer.
He is considered one of the great writers, not only in Mexico, but in all of Latin America (and probably the world). Despite his ability to deal with various topics,He felt a predilection for combining reality and fantasy in his works , while the characters reflect to the reader problems of great social importance. 1. Octavio Paz (1914 – 1998)
It is no coincidence that Octavio Paz is in the number 1 position. He is for many one of the greats of world literature and one of the best in recent history. This poet and essayist received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.
He stands out especially for his poems, but he has dared with various styles. Without a doubt, he has stood out above all for his versatility and personal style. We say personal because it is considered that the deceased author was not faithful to any current, but ratherhe preferred to adapt to the context and modify the characteristics of his work depending on the time and contemporary events.

  • Read our list of the 15 most famous writers in history.