Bombal, María Luisa (1910–1980)

views updated

Bombal, María Luisa (1910–1980)

María Luisa Bombal (b. 8 June 1910; d. 6 May 1980), Chilean novelist, born in Viña del Mar. Two highly original novels, La última niebla (1935) and La amortajada (1938), translated into English by the author herself as The House of Mist (1947) and The Shrouded Woman (1948), attest to María Luisa Bombal's outstanding position among Latin American writers. Educated in France, she lived most of her life away from her country.

An innovative novelist, Bombal was very influential in the development of contemporary narrative in Latin America, and she has had a profound effect on the development of a feminine perspective among Latin American women writers because of her treatment of the feminine characters in her work. Her novels are perfect narratives of fantasy and feminine sensitivity. She is a good representative of the feminist will to surpass the limitations imposed on women by society, and her works are an example of the stylistic experimentation of the period.

After having accomplished both an expression of women's views and the development of a new style, Bombal ceased to publish new works. In her old age she returned to her native country and enjoyed a brief recognition of her influence on younger writers, particularly women. Today, a literary prize for novels is given in her name.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Hernán Vidal, María Luisa Bombal: La feminidad enajenada (1976).

Mercedes Valdivieso, "Social Denunciation in the Language of 'The Tree' by María Luisa Bombal," in Latin American Literary Review 9 (1976): 70-76.

Lucía Guerra-Cunningham, La narrativa de María Luisa Bombal: Una visión de la existencia femenina (1980), and "María Luisa Bombal," in Spanish American Women Writers (1990): 41-52.

Additional Bibliography

Gac-Artigas, Priscilla, ed. Reflexiones: Ensayos sobre escritoras hispanoamericanas contemporáneas. New Jersey: Ediciones Nuevo Espacio, 2002.

Hintze, Gloria, ed. Escritura feminina: Diversidad y género en América Latina. Mendoza, Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, 2004.

                                       S. DaydÍ-Tolson