Medio, Dolores (1914—)

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Medio, Dolores (1914—)

Spanish writer of social-realist fiction . Name variations: Dolores Medio Estrada. Born on December 24, 1914, in Oviedo, Spain; daughter of Ramón Medio-Tuya y Rivero and Maria Teresa Estrada y Pastor.

Dolores Medio was born on December 24, 1914, in Oviedo, Spain, the daughter of Ramón Medio-Tuya y Rivero and Maria Teresa Estrada y Pastor. Her father died when she was a child, leaving the family in poverty. Intellectually precocious, as a 13-year-old Medio taught private lessons to supplement the household income. Meanwhile, she also began writing short stories and otherwise showed an interest in literature (she wrote her first novel at 12). Medio celebrated Alphonso XIII's abdication and the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931, but then experienced firsthand the horrors of civil strife. In 1934, radical miners paralyzed Oviedo with a massive strike, which in turn was brutally repressed by the government. Just before the Spanish Civil War began in July 1936, Medio secured a teaching position. Conservatives criticized her classroom innovations and caused her dismissal within a few months. Appalled by the merciless cruelty of both sides during the war, she advocated mutual tolerance despite her sympathies for the middle and lower classes. As well, her fiance died during the war, and persecution of suspected leftists prevented her from securing a teaching position when the conflict ended.

Supporting herself through menial jobs, Medio published "Niña" in 1945, which won a short-story prize. More important, it convinced her to move to Madrid and try to become a fulltime writer. From 1945 to 1965, she wrote for El Domingo, a newspaper aimed at the lower class. She also wrote novels, short stories, poetry and literary criticism. In 1953, Nosotros los Rivero (We Riveros) garnered the Nadal Prize, one of Spain's most prestigious literary awards. Compás de espera (Pause) and Mañana (Tomorrow) appeared the following year. In 1962, Medio was arrested and jailed for attending a women's demonstration, even though she had not participated in it. In 1966, she published a biography of Isabella II . Throughout, Medio remained a prolific writer. Her fiction was traditional narrative, which realistically examined the condition of Spain's common people. Some works drew heavily on her own experiences, such as Diario de una maestra (Diary of a School Teacher, 1961).


Jones, Margaret E.W. Dolores Medio. NY: Twayne, 1974.

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