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2022-2023 The Big Read

"It’s as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic.”

The Washington Post

The Purdue English Department’s 2022 Big Read selection is Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic. A New York Times bestseller, Mexican Gothic won the 2021 Locus Award for Best Horror Novel as well as the Goodreads Choice Award for Horror. It was also named one of the best books of 2020 by The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, NPR, Marie Claire, The Washington Post, Library Journal, and more. Now, it is being adapted into a Hulu miniseries.

Equal parts foreboding and thrilling, Mexican Gothic is a gothic romance, complete with enigmatic suitors and a haunting house, set in 1950s Mexico. A frightening, deranged message from her recently-married cousin, Catalina, sends Noemí Taboada to High Place, an English family estate built amidst silver-mine-pocked mountains on soil brought directly from England, and home to Virgil Doyle, Catalina’s alluring, British-Mexican husband. A socialite and aspiring anthropologist, Noemí puts her wits and charm to the test as she seeks to learn the cause of Catalina’s distress. What she gathers from conversations with townspeople, Doyle family members, and her own noticeably-disturbed cousin leaves Noemí—and readers—questioning who or what to believe. The stakes extend beyond Catalina’s personal safety to the fate of a former mining village and a whole region haunted by the colonial past and present.

Mexican Gothic has garnered praise for its captivating blend of feminist gothic tropes, Mexican history, and weird science. The Guardian describes it as “Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America,” while NPR calls it an “inspired mash-up” of Jane Eyre, Dracula, and the “1958 classic sci-fi movie, The Blob.” Author of The Library of the Unwritten, A. J. Hackwith describes it as “an intense, beautiful monster of a novel.... Lush and lyrical writing makes this a vivid, seductive read.”


Banner image by Prateek Katyal, Unsplash