Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Profile

Our literature recommendation this week is Mexican Gothic, a novel from Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Mexican Gothic is a horror story in the old-school mode, but with contemporary perspectives on race and colonialism. Her author defines herself as Mexican by birth and Canadian by inclination. She is also the creator of the bestselling novels Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things and  Untamed Shore.

As the writer has said in several interviews, her interest in horror and fantasy comes from her great grandmother’s stories. Magic realism is very present in Latin American literature, influencing her work with its atmosphere and characters. As for anglo fantasy and science fiction, she takes it from her parents. Particularly her mother, who introduced her to Poe and Lovecraft. 

Moreno-Garcia began her career publishing in different fiction magazines. 

Her first collection of short stories, This Strange Way of Dying, was published in 2013 by Exile Editions. Love and Other Potions, her second compilation, came out in 2014.

Her debut novel, Signal to Noise, won a Copper Cylinder Award. After this came Certain Dark Things (2016), The Beautiful Ones (2017), Gods of Jade and Shadow (2019) and Mexican Goth (2020), among others.

Gods of Jade and Shadow was the 2020 Reading List winner in the Fantasy category by the American Library Association. Also, the novel won the 2020 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Mexican Gothic won a Pacific Northwest Book Award and made many best of the year lists.

When Silvia started reading Western speculative fiction, she could never find people like her. So she tried to create real and grounded characters in her fantasy and horror books.

Many of her books showcase strong females who want more of life but don’t know how to achieve their goals. As the author said once: “In fiction and real life, women still have a hard time navigating the world. Women are complex, and that complexity should be reflected in books, allowing them time to find themselves.”

At the moment, she writes a column for The Washington Post and reviews books for NPR. Garcia-Moreno has two forthcoming literary projects: Velvet Was the Night and The Daughter of Doctor Moreau.


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