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Garro, Elena (1916–1998)

Garro, Elena (1916–1998)

Mexican playwright, novelist, and journalist. Born Dec 11, 1916, in Puebla, Mexico; died Aug 22, 1998, in Cuernavaca, Mexico; dau. of José Antonio Garro Melendreras and Esperanza Navarro Benítez; m. Octavio Paz (poet and diplomat), 1937 (div.); children: Helena Paz.

Well-known Latin American writer, was one of the 1st to experiment with magic realism, mastering the technique of developing themes within a cyclical time; lived in US (1943–45), France (1946–51), Japan (1952) and Switzerland (1953), due to husband's diplomatic posts, and met anti-fascist intellectuals, writers and artists; returned to Mexico (1953) and earned success as screenwriter, journalist and political activist; wrote film scripts, including La escondida (The Hidden Woman), and published a collection of plays, Un hogar sólido (A Solid Home, 1958); exiled from Mexico due to activist journalism (1959), especially around rights of indigenous Mexicans; after living in New York and Paris, returned to Mexico (1963) and published novels Los recuerdos de porvenir (Recollections of Things to Come, 1963) and La semana de colores (The Week of Colors, 1963); identified with 1968 student movement and incorporated events from protests and massacres into political novel Y matarazo no llamó … (And Matarazo Never Called, 1991), unintentionally alienating those in movement by naming intellectuals involved; moved to US with daughter (1972), due to isolation from Mexican leftist intellectuals, and then to Spain (1974), forced to leave Spain (1980) by estranged husband, who made her departure a condition for his acceptance of Miguel Cervantes prize; moved with daughter to Paris (1980) and worked in Mexican consulate; returned to Mexico (1993) and lived in poverty; received many awards including Xavier Villarrutia Prize (1963) for Los recuerdos de porvenir, and Premio Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz (1996) for 2 short novels Busca mi esquela (Look for My Death Note, 1996) and Primer amor (First Love, 1996). Additional works include: (novels) Testimonios sobre Mariana (Testimonies about Mariana, 1981), Reencuentro de personajes (Reencounter of Characters, 1981), La casa junto al río (The House by the River, 1982), and Un traje rojo para un duelo (A Red Dress for a Mourning, 1996); (play) Felipe Angeles (1979); (screenplays) De noche vienes (You Come at Night) and Las señoritas Vivanco (The Vivanco Ladies).

See also Patricia Rosas Lopátegui, Yo sólo soy memoria (Ediciones Castillo, 2000).

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