What was Laura Esquivel's childhood like?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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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.

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