In this collection of stories, Poniatowska weaves together the disparate lives that make up Mexico’s rich cultural tapestry. These are stories about servants and matriarchs, street sweepers and sorceresses, shop keepers, nannies, mothers, travelers, prostitutes and drug addicts. They are stories of broken lives and broken hearts, of betrayal and rebirth. The language is melodic, sensual, plain, coarse, aristocratic. It reflects the varied idioms of Mexico’s diverse social classes. Poniatow ska constructs characters of immense complexity, then slowly peels away the emotional and psychological layers to expose their greatest vulnerability. Nowhere is this more visible than in the title story The Heart of the Artichoke.
Elena Poniatowska Amor was born in Paris, France on May 19, 1932. She is a writer and journalist and has written more than 50 books, including Dear Diego, Massacre in Mexico, Tinísima, Nothing, nobody, the voices of the Earthquake. The Skin of the Sky won the Alfaguara Literary Prize 2001 and The train comes first the Rómulo Gallegos Prize in 2007, Leonora the Seix Barral Prize in 2011. She refused the Villaurrutia Literary Prize in 1970 for her powerful Massacre in Mexico, asking the President to give the prize instead to the dead students. Poniatowska was also awarded the National Prize of Arts and Sciences in 2002, the highest honor given to a writer in Mexico. China also chose “The Skin of the Sky” as the best Latin American Novel of 2001. She is doctor Honoris Causa of the New school of Social Research, Columbia University, Manhattanville College, Florida Atlantic University, University of Pau, France, UNAM and other Mexican Universities. In the USA, she has received the Mary Moors Cabot for Journalism in 2004 and the International Women Media Foundation Award in 2006. She is also an Officer of the French Legion d’Honneur.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.
In Voices without Borders: Encounters with Contemporary Mexican Writers. series of talks Participants Elena Poniatowska Entidades Organizadoras Instituto Cervantes (Chicago) Collaborating Organisation Consulado General de México (Chicago) The Center for Latin American Studies- UC (Chicago) Revista Contratiempo (Chicago) National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago) UIC- School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics Universidad Depaul (Chicago) / Depaul University (Chicago) Universidad Loyola (Chicago) / Loyola University (Chicago) Hoy Newspaper (Chicago) Entidades Patrocinadoras Illinois Humanities Council (Chicago)