Mexican Village: Josefina Niggli’s Border Crossing Narrative


  • Jadwiga Maszewska University of Łódź



Josefina Niggli, U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Chicano/a literature, Mexican folk traditions, biculturalism


The paper presents Josefina Niggli (191083), an American mid-twentieth-century writer who was born and grew up in Mexico, and her novel Mexican Village (1945). A connoisseur of Mexican culture and tradition, and at the same time conscious of the stereotypical perceptions of Mexico in the United States, Niggli saw it as her literary goal to “reveal” the “true” Mexico as she remembered it to her American readers. Somewhat forgotten for several decades, Niggli, preoccupied with issues of marginalization, hybridization, and ambiguity, is now becoming of interest to literary critics as a forerunner of Chicano/a literature. In her novel Mexican Village, set in the times of the Mexican Revolution, she creates a prototypical bicultural and bilingual Chicano protagonist, who becomes witness to the rise of Mexico’s modern national identity.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Jadwiga Maszewska, University of Łódź

Jadwiga Maszewska teaches in the Department of American Literature at the University of Łódź. Her main area of research is contemporary American ethnic literature. She is the author of Between Center and Margin. Native American Women Writers: Leslie Marmon Silko and Louise Erdrich. Maszewska has also published articles on writers of the American South.


Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute,1987. Print.

Coonrod Martinez, Elizabeth. Josefina Niggli, Mexican American Writer. A Critical Biography. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 2007. Print.

Groom, Winston. El Paso. New York and London: Liveright, 2016. Print.

Gruesz, Kirsten Silva. “Mexico in America.” A New Literary History of America. Ed. Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors. Cambridge: The Belknap P of Harvard UP, 2009. 6–11. Print.

Herrera-Sobek, Maria. Introduction. Mexican Village. By Josefina Niggli. Chapel Hill: The U of North Carolina P, 1994. i–xxv. Print.

Lavender, David. The Southwest. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1984. Print.

Niggli, Josefina. Mexican Village. Chapel Hill: The U of North Carolina P, 1994. Print.

Stavans, Ilan, ed. The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. New York and London: Norton, 2011. Print.

West, John O. Mexican-American Folklore. Little Rock: August, 1989. Print.




How to Cite

Maszewska, J. (2018). Mexican Village: Josefina Niggli’s Border Crossing Narrative. Text Matters, (8), 353-364.

Most read articles by the same author(s)