Aura Estrada was born on April 24, 1977, in León, Guanajuato, Mexico. She was four when she and her mother moved to Mexico City. There, Aura attended elementary school at the Colegio Buckingham, and high school at the Colegio Madrid. She attended college at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) from which she graduated with a BA in English Literature (2000), and a MA in Comparative Literature (2003.) Her Master‘s thesis, Borges, inglés (about the influence on Jorge Luis Borges of William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb and Robert Louis Stevenson) was later published as a book by the Mexican small press, Scripta, as was a subsequent long essay, Borges, prologuista. She also studied at University of Texas, Austin (1998-99) and, on a visiting scholar grant, at Brown University (2002). In the fall of 2003 she enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Literature at Columbia University. That year she also won a Fulbright Scholarship.
Aura seemed well launched on an academic career, but she dreamed of becoming a writer. All throughout high school and college, she had written poetry and fiction, and had contributed to Mexican university and independent magazines. In the fall of 2006, despite a heavy academic and teaching load at Columbia, she enrolled in the Hunter College MFA program, and began writing fiction in English.
While at Columbia, she also published creative prose journalism, reviews and short-fiction in Mexican and Latin American magazines such as Letras Libres, DF, Gatopardo, the online literary magazine, Letralia, and in the anthology El gringo a travÈz del espejo; she published a story and an essay at Wordswithoutborders.org. And writing in English, she published book review-essays at Bookforum and The Boston Review. In 2009 a collection of Aura's writings will be published by Almadía, a Mexico-based independent publisher.
At Hunter, studying under Peter Carey and Colum McCann, she began writing a novel, in English, which she intended to revise and complete in Spanish. As a Hertog Fellow at Hunter, she was a research assistant for Toni Morrison.
On August 20th, 2005, Aura and Francisco Goldman were married in Atotonilco, Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato. Their friends came from all over the world. In July 2007, while vacationing with Francisco and her close friend-cousin Fabiola Rebora at the Mexican Pacific beach town, Mazunte, Aura suffered a fatal accident in the waves, and died the next day, July 25th, in a hospital in Mexico City.