Parra, Teresa de la (1890–1936)

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Parra, Teresa de la (1890–1936)

Teresa de la Parra (Ana Teresa Parra Sanojo; b. 5 October 1890; d. 23 April 1936), Venezuelan novelist. She was born in Paris into Venezuela's plantation-owning class. When her father died in 1898, her mother took the family to Spain. As a member of an aristocratic Spanish family, she was sent to a convent to obtain a traditional education. At the age of eighteen, she returned to Caracas and lived in the Hacienda Tazón, where she read constantly. The Caracas society to which she belonged exposed Parra to the prejudice and discrimination that women faced. This awareness of differences in social standing between men and women led her to writing.

Parra's first work was "Mamá X," which later became part of her first novel, Ifigenia. This story won her an award that served as an incentive for further development. In 1923, Parra returned to Europe and settled in Paris, where she organized a salón literario at which Latin Americans met. Parra was invited to lecture in Cuba and Colombia, but she lived most of her life outside of Venezuela. She died in Madrid. In 1948 her remains were repatriated to her country of origin.

Parra's literary works are Diario de una señorita que se fastidia, (1922; Journal of an Upset Young Woman); Ifigenia: diario de una señorita que escribió porque se fastidiaba (1924), published in Paris with a preface by Francis de Miomandres; and Las memorias de la Mamá Blanca (1929), also published in Paris. Her letters and her unpublished lectures were included in Obras completas (1965). Her novels represent life in nineteenth-century Venezuela from the viewpoint of female protagonists, thus constituting a profound reflection on a passing way of life.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Ramón Díaz Sánchez, Teresa de la Parra (1954).

Efraín Subero, Raquel Berlin, et al., eds., Contribución a la bibliografía de Teresa de la Parra, 1895–1936 (1970).

Mariano Picón Salas et al., Teresa de la Parra; bibliografía y otros trabajos (Caracas, 1980).

Additional Bibliography

Guerra-Cunningham, Lucía. "Cuerpo de mujer y rituales del adorno en 'Ifigenia' de Teresa de la Parra." Letras Femeninas 30:1 (Summer 2004): 129-140.

Wang, Lih-Lirng Soang. "Power, Language, and Culture: Teresa de la Parra in Latin American Feminism." Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995.

                              Magdalena GarcÍa Pinto