Elena Poniatowska Amor was born in Paris, France on May 19, 1932. She is a writer and journalist and has written more than 50 books, including Dear Diego, Massacre in Mexico, Tinísima, Nothing, nobody, the voices of the Earthquake. The Skin of the Sky won the Alfaguara Literary Prize 2001 and The train comes first the Rómulo Gallegos Prize in 2007, Leonora the Seix Barral Prize in 2011. She refused the Villaurrutia Literary Prize in 1970 for her powerful Massacre in Mexico, asking the President to give the prize instead to the dead students.
The Heart of the Artichoke
In this collection of stories, Poniatowska weaves together the disparate lives that make up Mexico’s rich cultural tapestry. These are stories about servants and matriarchs, street sweepers and sorceresses, shop keepers, nannies, mothers, travelers, prostitutes and drug addicts. They are stories of broken lives and broken hearts, of betrayal and rebirth. The language is melodic, sensual, plain, coarse, aristocratic. It reflects the varied idioms of Mexico’s diverse social classes. Poniatow ska constructs characters of immense complexity, then slowly peels away the emotional and psychological layers to expose their greatest vulnerability. Nowhere is this more visible than in the title story The Heart of the Artichoke.