“A secret to reveal, a sin to confess, a story to tell”
María Amparo Escandón

The Writer

María Amparo
María Amparo Escandón is a New York Times best-selling bilingual author (English and Spanish.) Her third novel, L.A. Weather, published by Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers is a Reese’s Book Club pick and is featured on Oprah Quarterly as well as a Best Book of the Month in Barnes & Noble, Alta, People, PopSugar, Bustle, CNN, E! News, Ms. Magazine, Nylon, GMA, and more.

She wrote her first novel, Esperanza’s Box of Saints and its Spanish version, Santitos, published in late 1999 by Simon & Schuster and Random House respectively. Her novel has been the number one best seller in the Los Angeles Times Best Sellers List, it has 21 foreign editions and has been read in over 86 countries. Her new novel, González & Daughter Trucking Co. and its Spanish version, Transportes González e Hija, was published in 2005 by Random House. It has been in best sellers lists around the country and is the publisher’s “Book of the Year” in Spain. She has been named Writer to Watch by Newsweek magazine and by the Los Angeles Times. Her books have been chosen as the annual book selection for several Community Reads public library-funded projects, One City One Book, A Novel Idea. Also, many of her short stories have been published in journals and magazines, both in English and Spanish.

María wrote the screenplay Santitos, on which she based her novel. The film was produced by John Sayles and successfully released in Latin America in January of 2001. To date, the film has received awards in 14 international Film Festivals, such as the Latin Cinema Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Award at the Rencontres Cinémas de Toulouse, France, and Best Opera Prima by the Critique Française.

She founded The Other Truth Productions, LLC, a content production company, where she has a pipeline of film and television projects in various stages of development. She is currently developing the television mini-series, Mudflap Girl, based on her second novel, González & Daughter Trucking Co. and a screenplay she co-wrote with Pepe Stepensky, Moishe is Moishe.

María has taught numerous Creative Writing courses and workshops at UCLA Extension since 1994: Magic Realism, Written Voice and Short Story Writing. She has been an advisor at the Sundance Film Institute Screenwriters Labs in Mexico and Brazil. She has been a novel and screenplay advisor at the Creative Content Foundation in Barcelona and she has been a mentor for the PEN Center Emerging Voices Program since 2000.

She graduated from Universidad Nuevo Mundo in Mexico City in 1982 where she studied Communications with an emphasis on Linguistics and Semiotics. She is invited regularly as keynote speaker, lecturer, and panelist at numerous colleges and universities, national and international writing conferences, writing seminars in Mexico, Spain and Brazil, film festivals in several other countries, book expos, fundraisers, and other events.

María Amparo María Amparo


Esperanza’s Box of Saints (Santitos)

A magical, humorous, and passion-filled odyssey about a beautiful young widow's search for her missing child, a mission that takes her from a humble Mexican village to the rowdy brothels of Tijuana and a rarely seen side of Los Angeles. Rescued from turmoil by her favorite saint, Esperanza embarks on a journey that tests her faith, teaches her the ways of the world, and transforms her from a fervently religious innocent to an independent, sexual, and passionately devout woman.
“Heaven is well staffed. Esperanza has suitably grimy experiences on the slyly humorous magic realism tour.” —New York Times

González & Daughter Trucking Co.

Serving a sentence in a Mexican prison, Libertad González finds a way to confess her crime to her fellow inmates with the weekly Library Club, reading from whatever books she can find in the prison's meager supply. The story that emerges, though, has nothing todo with the words printed on the pages. She tells of a former literature professor and fugitive of the Mexican government who reinvents himself as a trucker in the United States raising a baby girl on the run.
“1,001 nights in a Mexicali women’s prison. María Amparo Escandón’s
beautifully-written novela invites us to do time with a population of hard-luck sisters sentenced to ponder the comedies and tragedies of their own lives González & Daughter Trucking Co. is about our compulsion to make events into stories and stories into bridges of understanding.” — John Sayles, author and filmmaker of “Lone Star”


A collection of short stories inspired by photographs that María took of totaled, abandoned cars by the side of the Baja roads

L.A. Weather

A nuanced and vibrant portrait of a Mexican-American couple who announce their divorce after nearly forty years, upending the careful balance of the family, and forcing their three grown daughters to take a hard look at their own relationships L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the patriarch of the Mexican-American Alvarado family, wants is a little rain. But when twin toddlers Diana and Andrea almost drown in their grandparents’ pool, the Alvarado family’s stability threatens to go up in flames. Oscar is harboring a costly secret that accounts for his obsession with the weather, and his sense of helplessness is turning him into the shell of the man he once was. His wife, Keila, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters--Claudia, a television chef with a less than empathetic attitude, Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt, and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers--will each have to take a long, hard look at their own relationships and make some tough decisions.

With her trademark wit and sense of the absurd, María Amparo Escandón brings us L.A Weather, an epic story of intimate proportions that takes us on an often whimsical journey into the death and rebirth of love. Set against the backdrop of Latino Los Angeles in the middle of the worst drought ever recorded, the marriages in the Alvarado family are tested and their bonds with each other bent but never broken as they navigate life’s many twists and turns, coping with secrets, deception, and betrayal to ultimately arrive at a surprising new order.

L.A. Weather


Written by María Amparo Escandón based on her novel Esperanza’s Box of Saints, directed by Alejandro Springall and co-produced by independent filmmaker John Sayles, Santitos (Spanish with English subtitles) was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the Latin American Jury Award. This film also won thirteen international film festival awards.

Mudflap Girl

The eight-part limited television series is currently in development by The Other Truth Productions. Screenplay by María Amparo Escandón, based on her novel González & Daughter Trucking Co.

L.A. Weather

The television series is currently in development by The Other Truth Productions based on María Amparo Escandón’s latest novel.

The Reader

Comments and questions for María

Post your comments/questions here for María,
or contact her via instagram @mariaescandon

If you belong to a book club requesting her participation, please include your meeting date for a reply in a timely fashion. Some of the most frequently asked questions are answered in these links:

/ Q&A for Esperanza’s Box of Saints
/ Q&A for González & Daughter Trucking Co.