Rosaroio Castellanos always enjoyed a comfortable middle-class existence; yet she early emerged in her writing as an eloquent spokesperson for the feminist movements that began to gain currency in the 1950s. But Castellanos moved beyond feminist concerns of her own class to speak for marginal or subaltern Mexican women, most significantly for the indigenous women whom the culture had mythified, stereotyped, or simply overlooked. Castellanos was especially successful in thematizing the multileveled, conflictual relationships between indigenous and middle-class women. The Nine Guardians (1957) is autobiographical in nature, drawing on childhood memories of Castellanos's contacts in southeast Mexico, near the Guatemalan border, with indigenous society. Other novels deal in complex and innovative ways with the roles of indigenous culture and of women in contemporary Mexican society. Castellanos published numerous volumes of poetry, and her drama The Eternal Feminine included a Rosario Castellanos Reader (1975), is considered one of the most innovative and influential feminist texts in Latin American literature. Castellanos, who also produced a steady output of perceptive essays, was Mexico's ambassador to Israel While she was ambassador, Castellanos died in Israel having been accidentally electrocuted.
Juan Jose Arreola, 1918 - 2001 Juan Jose Arreola was born in 1918 in Ciudad Guzman in the western state of Jalisco. Although he never finished elementary school, he managed to teach himself to read and got a job as an apprentice to a bookbinder. In 1941, Arreola got a job as a reporter and eventually became head of the circulation department for El Occidental in Guadalajara. In Guadalajara, Arreola befriended Juan Rulfo, a famous Mexican writer. Arreola would later adopt Rulfo's style of writing when he himself took up the trade. In 1943, Arreola published "Hizo el Bien Mientras Vivio" or "He Did Good While He Lived" in the magazine Eos. Two years later, he won a scholarship to study in Paris. Upon his return, he finished "Varia Invencion" or "Diverse Inventions" which went on to redefine Mexican literature with its mixture of poetry and prose. The story was so well received that a new genre was named after the title of the story. Arreola's next title, "Confabulario" firmly established his reputation. Arreola went on to publish 16 more books of short stories. In 1976 he won the National Linguistics and Literature prize, and later he won the Juan Rulfo Prize for Latin American and Caribbean Literature. Arreola was also named an Officer of Arts and Letters by the French Government. Juan Jose Arreola died at the age of 83 in his home in Guadalajara on December 3, 2001.