Mariano Azuela Biography, Life and Works of the Mexican Novelist


Who was Mariano Azuela? Information about the life and works of Mexican writer Mariano Azuela, known for his novels about the Mexican Revolution.

Mariano Azuela


Mariano Azuela; (1873-1952), Mexican novelist, whose work presents a powerful picture of the Mexican Revolution. He was born at Lagos de Moreno, in Jalisco state, on Jan. 1, 1873. After studying medicine in Guadalajara, he entered medical practice in Lagos in 1899, and in 1911 became mayor of the town. Meanwhile he had written several short stories and the novels Maria Luisa (1907), Los fracasados (1908), Mala Yerba (1909), and Sin amor (1912). After serving as director of public education of Jalisco (1914-1915), he joined the forces of Francisco (Pancho) Villa as a surgeon in 1915. After Villa’s defeat, Azuela had to take refuge in El Paso, Texas, where he published his most successful work, Los de abajo ( 1915). This novel, translated into English as The Underdogs (1929), with illustrations by José Clemente Orozco, provides a vivid picture of the brutal, blind forces of the Mexican Revolution. Azuela later returned to Mexico City, where he pursued his medical practice and continued writing. He received the National Literary Prize in 1950. He died in Mexico City on March 1, 1952.

Besides Los de abajo, two other Azuela novels, Los caciques ( 1917) and Las moscas ( 1918), are based on the revolution. La malhora (1923), El desquite (1925), and La luciérnaga (1931) are novelettes depicting low life in the national capital. Pedro Moreno (1935) and Precursores (1935) are fictionalized biographies. Later novels, dealing with problems arising from the new social and political order of Mexico include El camarada Pantoja (1937), San Gabriel de Valdivias (1938), Regina Landa (1939), Avanzada (1940), La nueva burguesía (1941), and La mar chanta (1944).

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