Azuela, Mariano (märyäˈnō äswāˈlä) [key], 1873–1952, Mexican novelist. Azuela began his medical practice in 1899, writing short stories and novels in his spare time. In 1915 he joined Francisco Villa's revolutionary forces as a surgeon. From this experience came his modern classic, Los de abajo (1915, tr. The Underdogs, 1929), which depicts the military exploitation of indigenous people. The novel is composed of linked sketches that are starkly realistic. After Villa's defeat Azuela took refuge in Texas. Returning to Mexico in 1916, he resumed his medical practice and his writing, taking little interest in politics. Among his later novels are María Luisa (1907); Los fracasados [the defeated] (1908); Mala yerba (1909); Los caciques (1917, tr. The Bosses, 1956); Las moscas (1918, tr. The Flies, 1956); and San Gabriel de Valdivias (1938).