As unbelievable as it may be, Cinco de Mayo is not just a celebration of the Five Dollar Margarita! It, in fact, commemorates the underdog Mexican Army’s victory over much larger French troops at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.
My homage to this festival today is a literary one – a gathering of favorite colors and books to celebrate the culture of that wonderful country.
Frida Kahlo: Una Biografia by Maria Hesse
I fell in love with this beautiful, illustrated biography of one of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo, by another fabulous artist, Maria Hesse. Everything about this is just so perfect . The ivory pages crinkle slightly to your touch, the format stands out in a sea of other books, and the lush illustrations, while capturing all of the vibrancy of Mexico, are sublime in their subtlety. All of the gorgeous colors we associate with that country and with Frida are here – but muted, soft, and dreamy. Another plus in my books is that it is written entirely in Spanish! I’m looking forward to putting my three years of high school Spanish to good use.
The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
The fiction buyer at my favorite local bookstore is a huge fan of Luiselli and so this surreal, genre-bending novel came highly recommended.
Paint The Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910-1950
Fourteen essays, by authors from both the United States and Mexico, exploring the four decades of cultural and political upheaval during which Mexico emerged as a hub of modern art. Beautiful pieces by Frida Kahlo, Maria Izquierdo and Manuel Rodriguez Lozano to name a few.
Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!