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3.23  ·  Rating details ·  3,031 Ratings  ·  331 Reviews
This is an extraordinary retelling of the passionate and tragic love between the conquistador Cortez and the Indian woman Malinalli, his interpreter during his conquest of the Aztecs. Malinalli's Indian tribe has been conquered by the warrior Aztecs. When her father is killed in battle, she is raised by her wisewoman grandmother who imparts to her the knowledge that their ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Atria Books (first published 2005)
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Malinche by Laura EsquivelLa voie de la non-violence by Mahatma GandhiLe bilinguisme pour grandir  by Anémone Geiger-JailletL'apprentissage précoce des langues by Louis PorcherLe Crime Est Notre Affaire by Agatha Christie
24 books — 2 voters
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Chicano Chicana
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Community Reviews

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This year I am participating in a classics bingo and I read Malinche by Laura Esquivel for my mythology square. I am not a fan of mythology and this story pushed me to read outside of my comfort zone. Even though I enjoy Hispanic culture a great deal, Mexican mythology is not a subject I have studied in depth so I was able to learn from this slim novel. The tale of Malinalli, Cortes, and Jaramillo brought to light a chapter of Mexican folk lore from a native perspective that often isn't studied ...more
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
For all you history purists (were you there? how can you be sure, unless you're Shirley McLaine?) this is a NOVEL not an anthropological research paper. Obviously the author had to take liberties with the story of Mallinali/Marina, slave girl and *the*only native American who was a front-row observer/participant in the apex/decline of Aztecan culture. She may very well have been the last non-Spaniard to see Monteczuma alive. Can you imagine what must have been going through Mallinali's mind as t ...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Maria Conchita Alonso

Malinalli was a Native woman from Tabasco, who was given as a slave to the conquering Spaniards. Her ability to speak Spanish as well as two native languages – Mayan and Nahuatl – brought her to the attention of Hernán Cortés, and eventually she became his mistress and bore him a son. For centuries, she has been reviled as a traitor for her role in helping the Spaniards conquer the Aztec empire, but more recent research has pointed to a more complex r
May 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Malinche is the story of the indigenous woman, Malinalli, who had a relationship with Hernan Cortes when the Spanish conquered Mexico. Her story is somewhat similar to that of Pocahontas with John Smith in the U.S. I had always understood Malinche from common myth to be seen as a traitor -- someone who was sleeping with the enemy and selling off her people's secrets. This book shows that it was not that way at all. Rather than standing as a symbol of betrayal, Malinche instead becomes the root o ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Malinche is written with the tone, writing level and emotional depth of a third-grade history book. I don't know if something (aka everything) was lost in translation, but this book seems to "talk down" to you while shifting abruptly from factual-seeming descriptions of Aztec life, society and architecture to similarly presented, yet entirely different, direct renditions of stiff and unnatural inner and outer dialogue. When rape is presented with the same voice, tone, expression and aftermath as ...more
No me gustó nada.
Supongo que esto no es spoiler porque es parte de la historia de México. Pues bien, aquí vemos a la Malinche nace presagiada por signos del cambio, su abuela, es una anciana con conocimientos milenarios tipo “new age” mientras que su madre es muy malvada y la vende. Por el otro lado, Cortés que es chaparro, malo y ambicioso, decide lanzarse a conquistar México. Los dos se encuentran y ella que odia los sacrificios humanos (porque es como pacifista, nomás porque sí), apoya a los
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
Classic Bingo O2: Classic Folklore or Mythology

**I listened to the eAudio edition.
Jul 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scarlet Cameo
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rc-15
"El que maneja la información, los significados, adquiere poder, descubrió que al traducir, ella dominaba la situación y no sólo eso, sino que la palabra podría ser un arma"

Que decepción me causo esta historia, tanto potencial para que lo amara y que la desperdiciaran :'(...las primeras 30 páginas me hicieron creer que la historia sería hermosa, profunda y cruda pero poética que se centraría en TODA la vida de Malinalli, la esclava que fungiendo como traductora facilitó, para bien y para mal,
Parti com este livro com baixas expectativas, confesso. As opiniões que li não eram propriamente muito entusiásticas, por isso peguei neste livro com um pé atrás. Às vezes acontece a minha opinião não condizer com a da maioria, mas neste caso acabei mesmo por não gostar muito do livro.

Conhecia vagamente a personagem de Malinalli de Aztec, de Gary Jennings (que em Portugal foi publicado em dois volumes, Orgulho Asteca e Sangue Asteca); sabia que tinha sido a intérprete de Córtez aquando da chegad
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have never read Like Water for Chocolate, but was intrigued when I found this book by the same author on the bargain shelf at B&N. Esquivel’s prose is very expressive and fluid, and I personally found it beautiful. In the Reader’s Guide at the end of the book, it states that the book is “told in the lyricism of the Nahuatl song tradition and pictorial language.” I definitely felt that that in many ways the book resembled a song more than a novel, and this may not appeal to some readers. In ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
The main character's relationship with nature, elements and her gods was very beautiful. This novel felt like a healing of history, especially hightened for Mexicans, I'm sure. It shifts the brutal Spanish domination of the American peoples and lands perspective to a more peaceful blending of cultures where not every native was 'conquered', they had a role that shaped history too.

That being said, I just wasn't into the book all that much. It saddened and therefore tired me to read about female
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"Życie oferuje nam zawsze dwie możliwości: dzień i noc, orła lub węża, budowę lub niszczenie, karę lub przebaczenie, ale istnieje też trzecia możliwość, ukryta, łącząca obie możliwości: odkryj ją."

To była dziwna książka. Serio. Z jednej strony, całkiem niezła historia niewolnicy Malinalli, która miała służyć Hiszpanom. Historia pełna tajemnic, rodzinnych wartości, silnego przywiązania do babki, odwagi. Historia przedstawiająca dziki świat Azteków, magię i zagadkowe wierzenia. Z drugiej jednak st
Laura Motta
Nov 18, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This book is depressingly awful. I loved Like Water for Chocolate and had high hopes for Malinche, but there's no getting around it: This book is just so poorly written. The prose is overwrought, the characters are underdeveloped and inconsistent, the structure is confusing. I wondered if some of the problems were with the translation -- some of the lines seem too mangled and meaningless to be true; I laughed out loud at some of them -- but there are bigger problems that seem to go beyond that. ...more
May 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
This was terrible and the worst part is that it is based on historical events that are absolutely captivating. Cortez took her as his translator/concubine and he used her to help him conquer Mexico. Not only that, but they had a son who is considered the first "Mexican" to exist, which is contentious for the indigenous population of Mexico. Malinche is still a divisive icon in Mexico- someone who enabled the forcible colonization of their land and people. This book has the potential to be amazin ...more
me gustó, pero no me encantó.. Hmm ceeo que fue una buena forma de darle un nuevo toque a este personaje histórico tan emblemático en México y quitarle un poco de esa maldad que le atribuyen en los linros escolares de historia y presenta a la Malinchr más humana.
Mary Spielmann
Apr 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
I hated this book. I wanted to like it, but what is there to like? It is badly written, faux-mystical, and mostly incoherent.
Rob Del Rio
Listened to the audiobook. No doubt the author stepped into the shoes of the protagonist, Malinalli, and used her imagination to create the indigenous world Malinche knew from infancy, then wrestled with the changes Cortez and the Spanish conquistadors invoked on her people and the native tribes she was forced to address as the interpreter. Much description of the earth, nature, eroticism, pre-colonial civilization and religious/philosophical belief accompanied the sparse plot and dialogue.

Mar 22, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a tricky one to review. On one hand, it had the lovely light touch of magical realism, an intriguing interpretation of feminism, and the benefit of one of the most savage conquests in history as a dramatic backdrop. The presence of religion and spiritualism in the story is also interesting and vital to making the story work. I remember feeling almost amused shock as a fifth-grader or whenever it was that we learned that the Aztecs had mistaken the Spanish conquistadors for returning gods ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
-Alegórica, evocadora y, muy al fondo, hasta algo histórica.-

Género. Novela (a un paso de la Novela histórica, pero sin serlo porque esa no es su intención).

Lo que nos cuenta. Ficción sobre una supuesta vida de Malinalli, conocida en la Historia y la leyenda como Malinche, desde su nacimiento en el valle del Anáhuac bajo la protección del dios Quetzalcóatl hasta su encuentro con Hernán Cortés, tomado por el propio Quetzalcóatl por muchos, para quien comienza a traducir y termina teniendo con él
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have heard the term Malinche used to describe a backstabber or a treacherous woman. The woman and historical figure Malinche is explored in this novel. She was an abandoned child raised by her grandmother and given to Hernan Cortez as a slave. He was enraptured by her and eventually became his lover, translator and important diplomat between her people and the greedy Spaniard conquistador. I really enjoyed this novel by Laura Esquivel famous novelist of Like Water for Chocolate. I listened to ...more
The story of Malinche is a rather interesting one.

And yet it was also a book I didn’t quite enjoy reading. But somehow managed to finish. I don’t know – was I already too far into the book to give it up? Or am I just reluctant to give up books, unless I really detest it? I didn’t hate reading this book, it had some interesting moments. Partly because it is based on a historical figure. One I hadn’t heard of before, but has such an iconic status.

And she is the almost mythical character of Malinal
Jori Richardson
The Aztec culture is one of my favorites to study, but unfortunately, not that many works of fiction are written on them. So, I was elated to find this book brand new for only $2 at Border's.

The story focuses on the conquistadors', led by Cortes, destruction the Aztec's way of life. Malinalli is a beautiful young woman in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Cortes is drawn to her, and the two fall in love. However, Malinalli becomes torn between her lover and her people when she begins to realize th
Ginette González
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Este libro lo encontré en la calle, caminando por el centro de Bergisch Gladbach, Alemania, hace menos de un par de meses.
Se tropieza uno en Alemania con unos "carritos" o estanterías apostados en parques o bulevares, con libros usados que simplemente están allí, solos, sin dueño preciso, dispuestos al caminante para que uno los hojee y se los lleve! Y coloque alguno propio en agradecimiento supongo.
Ahora imagínense la suerte de hallar en medio de los libros en idioma alemán y uno que otro en
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this book because I rather enjoyed Like Water for Chocolate and Malinche seemed like it would be very interesting. I felt it was an unsuccessful attempt to show the internal conflicts Malinche probably experienced in real life. The book was a bit more successful in portraying the diversity of peoples in Mexico at the time of the conquest, but even there the author could have expanded a lot to explain how Malinche's people were different from the ones she became enslaved to.

There is no gre
Krista Baetiong Tungol
I immediately bought this book after seeing it in a bookstore a few years back because it was written by the same author who wrote one of my favorite books, Like Water for Chocolate, and knowing how powerfully gripping Laura Esquivel had written it, I had expected Malinche to be carved out of the same caliber.

But as soon as I started reading the story, it failed to engage me. Malinalli fell short of a heroine for me. For someone whose country also suffered from foreign domination, I didn’t find
This book has some issues. One of the foremost is rape. The main character is raped by two different men, and, despite her saying that she wanted to burn herself alive during one of the times, she still says that she feels a strong connection with one of the men who raped her, and has a happy and loving marriage with the other. That is a cringe-worthy portrayal of a serious issue. Another problem are the time skips. The book jumps around a lot in time. Suddenly Malinche has had a baby -- did we ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tudo começa com o nascimento de Malinalli, que nos abrirá as portas para o Novo Mundo. Com ela, conheçemos os deuses mexicanos, as pessoas e o seu dia a dia. Assim, descobrimos as grandes diferenças culturais entre a Europa e a América. Sabemos sempre o que Malinalli sente enquanto os espanhois invadem a sua terra e a obrigam a ser sua tradutora, e assistimos á evolução da menina inocente para uma mulher quando o seu povo é massacrado. Em cada capitulo, a autora começa com uma ideia e desenvolve ...more
-Alegórica, evocadora y, muy al fondo, hasta algo histórica.-

Género. Novela (a un paso de la Novela histórica, pero sin serlo porque esa no es su intención).

Lo que nos cuenta. Ficción sobre una supuesta vida de Malinalli, conocida en la Historia y la leyenda como Malinche, desde su nacimiento en el valle del Anáhuac bajo la protección del dios Quetzalcóatl hasta su encuentro con Hernán Cortés, tomado por el propio Quetzalcóatl por muchos, para quien comienza a traducir y termina teniendo con él
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Malinche, o título deste livro não se refere à personagem principal feminina, como eu pensei inicialmente, mas sim à personagem principal masculina - Hérnan Cortés - o conquistador espanhol que dizimou milhares de nativos e aniquilou civilizações inteiras, como os Astecas.

Com brilhantes passagens, este livro é uma excelente leitura para entendermos o que se passou nesses trágicos anos do século XVI.

Através do retrato da vida de Malinalli, podemos compreender melhor a cultura e tradições astecas.
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Play Book Tag: Malinche / Laura Esquivel - 4**** 1 6 Dec 06, 2016 08:34AM  
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A teacher by trade, Laura Esquivel gained international attention with Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies and The Law of Love. In both books she manages to incorporate her teaching abilities by giving her readers lessons about life. During an on-line Salon interview with Joan Smith, she said, "As a teacher I realize that what one lear ...more
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“Once again she would arrive at a foreign place. Once again be the newcomer, an outsider, the one who did not belong. She knew from experience that she would quickly have to ingratiate herself with her new masters to avoid being rejected or, in more dire cases, punished. Then there would be the phase where she would have to sharpen her senses in order to see and hear as acutely as possible so that she could assimilate quickly all the new customs and the words most frequently used by the group she was to become a part of--so that finally, she would be judged on her own merits.” 18 likes
“Todo se olvida en esta vida, todo pasa al recuerdo, todo acontecimiento deja de ser presente, pierde su valor y su significado.” 6 likes
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