In magical realism you find the transformation of the common, into the awesome and the unreal as a part of everyday reality. According to Literature and Its Time, the term was first used by the German art critic Franz Roh in 1925, it described a manner of painting that "was not a mixture of reality and fantasy but a way to uncover the mystery hidden in ordinary objects". In Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel uses magical realism to combine reality and surreality onto the same plane making it seem as if the unreal happens as a part of everyday life.
Laura Esquivel was born in 1951 in Mexico City, Mexico. She was born the only daughter to a telegraph operator and his wife (Wyoming 1). Esquivel spent eight years as a teacher and a writer and director for a children's theater. According to "Like Water for Chocolate," an article by Wyoming Council for Humanities, Mrs. Esquivel wrote screenplays before she wrote novels. Her first screenplay, which she wrote for Alfonso Arau, Chido One, was nominated for the Ariel Award as best screenplay in 1985. Como agua para Chocolate is the first novel by Laura Esquivel. It was published first in Spanish in 1989, followed by an English translation in 1992. The book went on to be translated into thirty languages. Like Water for Chocolate became a national bestseller in 1990 and was a New York Times bestseller for several weeks. The Spanish language film based on Como agua para Chocolate won eleven awards from the Mexican Academy of Motion Pictures, including Best Picture. The English translation of the picture was the largest grossing foreign film. Other works from Laura Esquivel include, Ley del Amor (1996) and Swift as Desire (2001). Esquivel married Alfonso Arau, whom she wrote Chido One for, and currently lives in Mexico City. Esquivel describes herself as a vegetarian, gypsy-like hippie who liked to meditate during the 1960s and 1970s.