Laura Esquivel was born and raised in Mexico City in a comfortable, middle-class family. Throughout her childhood, Esquivel enjoyed listening to the stories of her parents and grandmother. These stories helped shape her passion for storytelling and using her imagination to create captivating novels. Esquivel often listened to stories from her mother and grandmother while they cooked in their kitchen, and these special moments were certainly inspiration for her popular novel, Like Water for Chocolate. Esquivel's comfortable life in Mexico City allowed her to explore her creativeness and to express herself through her storytelling. As a young adult, Esquivel was immersed in the counterculture of 1960s/70s Mexico. Her experiences as a free-spirited youth certainly shaped and encouraged her creativeness. Esquivel's novels and screenplays are permeated with a comfortable, intimate sense of familiarity and flowing dialogue. This writing style may very well be a result of her childhood in which she was consistently immersed in storytelling culture.
Stories were an an important part of Laura Esquivel's childhood, and they clearly provided much of the inspiration for her own writing, most notably Like Water for Chocolate. Her father Juan was an inveterate story-teller, as indeed were her mother and grandmother. In a later interview, Laura would tell how she loved getting sick as a child because her father would always come to her when she was in bed and invent fantastic stories with great characters.
Laura's mother and grandmother used to tell stories while they worked in the kitchen. For the most part, these old tales revolved around the preparation of some dish which had particular cultural resonance for Laura's family. Once again, it's not difficult to see the connection between Laura's childhood and the events of Like Water for Chocolate.
Laura Esquivel, the author of Like Water For Chocolate, grew up in Mexico City. She was the third child of four, and her childhood was full of storytelling. Her mother and her grandmother told stories as they cooked, and her father told stories of his own creation. She learned recipes as well as how to tell a good story from her family, and all three of her creative influences can be observed in her successful novel and corresponding film Like Water For Chocolate. In a 1996 interview, Esquivel, born in 1950, describes herself as a love child of the 1960s who explored vegetarianism, meditation and Eastern spirituality as a young woman. These interests influenced her later teaching career as a young adult and her television career writing programs for children.
One of the interesting aspects about the biographies of authors is the way that their childhood often clearly can be linked to the fiction that they produce later on in life. In the case of Laura Esquivel, this is clearly evident. She was born in Mexico City in 1951. Her father was a telegraph operator, which is a job that features massively in Esquivel's novel Swift as Desire.
Many novelists refer back to their childhood as being populated by books, however, for Esquivel, her rich narrative sense and appreciation of stories was gained by tales that her parents told her. Her father especially delighted in making up stories with his daughter, and one of Esquivel's favourite childhood memories is being sick so that her father would stay with her and make up stories to amuse her. They used to record these stories and add sound effects.
In addition, Esquivel had a very close relationship with her grandmother, who taught her a lot about cooking. This of course can be seen to have had a massive impact on her most famous novel, Like Water for Chocolate. We can definitely see therefore how Esquivel's childhood had a massive impression on the rest of her life, and how, in so many ways, her later fiction captures some of those elements of her childhood.