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Mexico with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Imagine you’re in Mexico with the author of Velvet Was the Night

Travel to Mexico with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Martin Dee

Martin Dee

We’re living vicariously through stories set around the world through the eyes of our authors, including Morocco with Laila Lalami, France with Sanaë Lemoine, South Korea with Michelle Zauner, Indonesia with Jesse Q. Sutanto, Malaysia with Zen Cho, Jamaica with Nicola Yoon, Brazil with Gabriella Burnham, and Antarctica with Maggie Shipstead and Julian Sancton.

We turned to award-winning author Silvia Moreno-Garcia to learn about her recommendations and memories of Mexico, where she was born. She is the author of several novels including Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, and most recently, Velvet Was the Night. This historical fiction set in 1970s Mexico City follows a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of a missing woman they’re both desperate to find, perfect for lovers of smoky noirs and anti-heroes.

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Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Velvet Was the Night
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Hardcover $28.00
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What is one of your favorite memories of living in or visiting Mexico?

When the guy who sold camotes or tamales went walking down the street in the evenings and we rushed out to catch his cart and pay for food. Sometimes we didn’t buy camotes, maybe we bought plantains with condensed milk, but it was always the thrill of the unexpected treat. Also, eating tacos on the street, sitting on an overturned plastic bucket. You don’t need fancy ingredients to make tacos and you didn’t need a fancy setting to eat them.

What is your favorite place in Mexico to visit?

Mérida, Yucatán. You get a little bit of everything. You can take a day trip to nearby ruins or pyramids, or look at the colonial buildings in the city, or even go for a dip in a cenote to cool off.

What are the spots you love returning to?

The Sanborns de los Azulejos in Mexico City because it’s a beautiful building, the used bookstores at Donceles, and the Churrería El Moro.

What is one meal you recommend for visitors?

Enchiladas Suizas. I have no idea why they are called ‘Swiss’ Enchiladas but they are delicious. Also, eating conchas or bread from any random bakery.

What do you wish people knew before visiting?

Mexico is a large, multi-faceted country. If you visit Mexico City it’ll be very different than if you go to San Miguel de Allende or Veracruz.

After living in multiple places, are there any cultural aspects that seem uniquely Mexican that you’re proud of?

I like how colorful and loud some elements of Mexican culture are. If we are going to paint something pink, it’s not going to be a delicate pink. It’s going to be hot PINK PINK PINK.

What books do you recommend for someone planning a trip?

I think cookbooks are fun because they provide many lessons in history and culture without you realizing it. I would recommend books such as My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions or Mexican Desserts: The Art of Authentic Mexican Desserts. For fiction, the collection The Houseguest and Other Stories by Amparo Dávila, which includes tales of horror and suspense, and any of the mystery books by Paco Ignacio Taibo II such as An Easy Thing. Taibo also edited an anthology called Mexico City Noir, part of the Akashic Noir series.

Where is home to you?

Mexico is my past, Canada is my present. Both make me who I am.

Thank you Silvia! Listen to her interview on Books Connect Us and discover her novels as well as more books, from classics to cookbooks, below!

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Mexican Gothic
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Gods of Jade and Shadow
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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The Book of Lamentations by Rosario Castellanos
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The Book of Lamentations
By Rosario Castellanos
Paperback $18.00
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Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
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Caramelo
By Sandra Cisneros
Paperback $16.95
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Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis
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Sea Monsters
By Chloe Aridjis
Paperback $16.95
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Horizontal Vertigo by Juan Villoro
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Horizontal Vertigo
By Juan Villoro
Hardcover $30.00
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Happy Families by Carlos Fuentes
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Happy Families
By Carlos Fuentes
Paperback $16.00
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Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
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Like Water for Chocolate
By Laura Esquivel
Paperback $16.95
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My Mexico City Kitchen by Gabriela Camara, Malena Watrous
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My Mexico City Kitchen
By Gabriela Camara and Malena Watrous
Hardcover $35.00
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The Food of Oaxaca by Alejandro Ruiz, Carla Altesor
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The Food of Oaxaca
By Alejandro Ruiz and Carla Altesor
Hardcover $35.00
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