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María Amparo Escandón Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 1957

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Mexico City and currently a US resident, María Amparo Escandón is a best-selling bilingual novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and film producer. Her award-winning work has been recognized for addressing bi-cultural themes such as the immigration experience of Mexicans who venture into the United States. Her stories focus on family relationships, loss, forgiveness, faith, and self-discovery.

Her innovative style of multiple voice narrations and her cleverly humorous, quirky, compassionate stories with a feminine angle, capture magical reality in everyday life, placing her among the top contemporary Latin American female writers. Her work has been translated into over 21 languages and is currently read in more than 85 countries.

Living in California, Escandón began viewing her culture of origin from a distance, allowing for a deeper analysis of ingrained traditions such as Mexicans' unique practice of Catholicism with Pre-Columbian influences, women's position in society, female identity, illegal immigration, US-Mexico relations, and government corruption... all of which she drew upon to write both her novels and non-fiction works.

Escandón wrote her first novel, Esperanza's Box of Saints (Simon & Schuster), and its Spanish version, Santitos (Plaza & Janés, now Random House), in 1999. She addresses the universal fear of losing a child, a woman's search for identity, and a journey -both geographical and spiritual- that takes Esperanza, the protagonist, through sordid brothels from Mexico to Los Angeles. It was the number one best seller in the Los Angeles Times Best Sellers List. And she was named writer to watch for 1999 by Newsweek magazine, and by the Los Angeles Times for 2000.

Her second novel, González & Daughter Trucking Co. (Three Rivers Press), and its Spanish version, Transportes González e Hija (Vintage Español), were published in 2005. Set in a Mexican prison and highways of the US Southwest, it deals with women's relationships, guilt, crime, passion, corruption and forgiveness within the context of a hybrid border culture. Paternal possessiveness and gender double standards in Mexican society are portrayed. This work also reflects a linguistic reality in bi-cultural California exploring the merger of Spanish and English vernacular (Spanglish), as well as different sub-culture lingoes.

In addition to teaching Creative Writing at UCLA Extension, Escandón has been an advisor at the Sundance Screenwriters Labs in Mexico and Brazil, as well as at the Fundación Contenidos de Creación Fiction Workshops in Barcelona, and participates as a mentor for upcoming minority writers at the PEN Center's Emerging Voices Program. She is also one of the founding members of Frijolywood, the official Mexican Filmmakers' association in Hollywood.

Escandón wrote the screenplay Santitos, based on her novel Esperanza's Box of Saints at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. The film was produced by John Sayles and directed in Mexico by Alejandro Springall. It was the third highest grossing Mexican film in Mexico during 1999, and successfully released in Spain and Latin America in 2000. To date, it has received awards in 14 film festivals worldwide, such as the Latin Cinema Award, Sundance Film Festival; Best Film, Guadalajara Film Festival; Best Film, Los Angeles Latino Film Festival; Best Actress, Festival International du Film d'Amiens; Grand Jury Award, Cartagena International Film Festival, Special Jury Award, Rencontres Cinémas de Toulouse; and Best Opera Prima, Découverte de la Critique Française.

Escandón has recently completed the screenplay based on her novel González & Daughter Trucking Co. The film is currently in active development at her production company, The Other Truth Productions.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Maria Amparo Escandon maria@mariaescandon.com

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