Twentieth-century playwright and novelist Josefina Niggli once wrote, "When I was . . . starting out as a writer, I had a shining goal. I was going to present Mexico and the Mexicans as they had never before been presented." Born in 1910 to Anglo parents in Monterrey, Mexico, Niggli grew up both in Monterrey and San Antonio, Texas. Niggli’s works, written in English for American audiences, often highlighted tensions within Mexican society and between the cultures of Mexico and the United States. At a time when American media often stereotyped Mexicans as villains and louts, Niggli provided an authentic and nuanced view of life across the border. One New York Times critic wrote, "Niggli sweeps into the discard a whole library of books by Americans purporting to tell us of Mexican life." More»

Portrait of Josefina Niggli. Courtesy of North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.