Matute, Ana Maria (1926—)

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Matute, Ana Maria (1926—)

Important Spanish novelist of the post-Civil War era . Name variations: Ana María Matute Ausejo. Born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1926; married Ramón Eugenio de Goicoechea, in 1954 (divorced 1963); children: Juan Pablo (b. 1956).

Ana Maria Matute was born in 1926 in Barcelona, where she spent her childhood beset by poor health. She studied first at a school run by nuns and then received an unhappy secondary education at a French-run institution. Although Matute did not attend university, she early showed literary genius. As a teenager, in 1943 she completed Pequeño teatro, which was later revised and published in 1954. Her first novel to appear in print was Los Abel (1948), exploring the conflict between Cain and Abel to understand Spain following the Civil War. It was a finalist for the Nadal Prize. In 1952, she married Ramón Eugenio de Goicoechea, and they had a son, Juan Pablo, two years later. Matute and Goicoechea were divorced in 1963.

Matute wrote prolifically, publishing novels, short stories, and children's books. She set many of her works in the countryside of Castile and explored themes related to the Civil War, of which she later remarked: "Even today, those of us who then were only ten years old, we haven't been able to forget it." Her novels won Spain's most prestigious literary awards, including the Nadal Prize and the Cervantes National Literature Prize. Matute's trilogy, Los Mercaderes, received great acclaim both at home and abroad, as did Olvidado Rey Gudu (1974).

Matute also taught at U.S. universities, including Indiana University and the University of Oklahoma. She donated her manuscripts and other papers to Boston University, which created a special library collection for them in her name.

sources:

Díaz, Janet Winecoff. Ana María Matute. NY: Twayne Publishers, 1971.

Jones, Margaret. E.W. The Literary World of Ana Maria Matute. 1970.

Roma, Rosa. Ana María Matute. Madrid: E.P.E.S.A., 1971.

Kendall W. Brown , Professor of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

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