Mexican Village and Other Works

Trade Paper – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2340-3
Publication Date
January 2008
Page Count
912 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Mexican Village and Other Works

Josefina Niggli
Born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 1910, Josefina Maria Niggli was one of the first Latina writers to have her work published in the United States--and thus one of the first to introduce American audiences to the culture and people flourishing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Well ahead of what is now called Chicano literature, her writings--spanning a broad range of genres, subjects, and styles--offer an insider's view of the everyday lives little known or noted outside of their native milieu. In Niggli's plays, for instance, these often invisible working class Mexicans were literally elevated to the public stage, their hidden reality given expression.

A long-overdue gathering of Niggli's work, this volume showcases the writer's remarkable literary versatility, as well as the groundbreaking nature of her writing, which in many ways established a blueprint for future generations of writers and readers of Chicano literature. This collection includes Niggli's most famous and influential work, Mexican Village--a literary chronicle of Hidalgo, Mexico, which explores the distinct nature and tensions of Mexican life--along with her novel Step Down, Elder Brother, and five of her most well-known plays.

About the Author
Mexican-born Josefina Niggli (1910-1983) was a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short story writer. For many years she worked in Hollywood in the stable of writers at Twentieth Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She then moved to North Carolina and taught first at the University of North Carolina and then became the director of drama and a journalism instructor at Western Carolina University, where she stayed until she retired. She received many honors including two Rockefeller Fellowships in Playwriting, a National Theatre Counsel Fellowship, and the Mayflower Association of North Carolina Award for Mexican Village.

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture and Five-College 40th Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. His recent books include Dictionary Days: A Defining Passion (Graywolf, 2005), and On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language (Penguin, 2002). He is also the author of Bandido: The Death and Resurrection of Oscar "Zeta" Acosta (2003) and The Disappearance: A Novella and Stories (2006), both published by Northwestern University Press. Stavans has been the recipient of numerous awards, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, Chile's Presidential Medal, The Rubén Darío Medal, and the National Jewish Book Award. He is the host of the syndicated PBS show Conversations with Ilan Stavans.