For her role as Hernán Cortés’s interpreter and lover, "La Malinche", the title of Laura Esquivel’s latest novel, is widely considered a traitor of the Mexican people. But this ambitious novel puts her in a dramatically different light. In the lyrical prose that has made "Como agua para chocolate" ("Like Water for Chocolate") one of the top-selling Spanish-language books in the States, Esquivel portrays Malinche as an intelligent woman who overcame her condition as a slave to take part in a crusade that she believed would liberate her from the Aztec rule.
Esquivel talked to Críticas about Mexico’s need to revise its history and embrace the Conquest, not as a tragedy in its past, but as the beginning of a wonderful and unique new culture. Under this light, La Malinche becomes a heroine, a role model. Esquivel notes: “It is important to see [the Conquest] with different eyes and, hopefully, discover that the blood in our veins is the blood of all bloods; that our skin contains all colors; that our eyes contain all glances; that in Mexico, for the first time, the history of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America came together.”