Ana Maria Matute: Author who suffered under Franco and was acclaimed for her lyrical depictions of Spanish life in the Civil War
Friday 27 June 2014
The author Ana Maria Matute was best known for her lyrical books set during the Spanish Civil War. Among her many literary awards was the 2010 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's foremost literary honour; she was only the third woman to receive the prize.
Matute and her contemporaries, traumatised by the Civil War, were described as the "generation of the frightened children", and much of Matute's writing depicted the wartime devastation of rural Spain from a child's perspective. She also wrote directly for children and adolescents, and was acclaimed for novels such as Los Ninos Tontos (The Stupid Children), and El Verdadero Final de La Bella Durmiente (The True Story of Sleeping Beauty).
She often used biblical allusion, and used the story of Cain and Abel to symbolise the familial divisions caused by the Civil War; among her most popular novels is Los Abel (The Abels). She also produced a Civil War trilogy, consisting of Primera memoria (1959, Awakening in the UK), Los soldados lloran de noche (1964; Soldiers Cry by Night) and La trampa (1969; The Trap), in which the children of Primera memoria are depicted as adults.
During the Franco era Matute led a beleaguered literary existence: most of her work was censored and she was blacklisted from any journalistic activities. "They called me irreverent, immoral, they twisted everything," she said in 2011 at an exhibition which showed how official censors had interfered with her work.
For most of the 1970s and 1980s she wrote almost nothing, due to depression; she returned to writing with a trilogy of medieval fantasy stories. Her latest book, Family Demons, is due to be published later this year.
Ana Maria Matute, author: born 26 July 1925; one son; died 25 June 2014.
- 1 Reader dilemma: 'My boyfriend jokes about putting photos of us having sex on Facebook'
- 2 Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta clashes with President Obama on LGBT equality: ‘Gay rights is really a non-issue’
- 3 37-year-old black woman found dead in police custody
- 4 Kanye West praises Caitlyn Jenner on I Am Cait: 'You couldn't have been up against more'
- 5 Five-year-old boy forced classmate to simulate oral sex at primary school, claims mother
Mystery over deaths of 3,000 Napoleonic soldiers in mass grave has been solved
Global Peace Index: Ukraine tops list of countries with the worst relations with neighbours
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, 71, still enjoys 'an early morning joint' for breakfast
Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The 9 charts that show the 'left-wing' policies of Jeremy Corbyn the public actually agrees with
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
What the Labour party could look like under Jeremy Corbyn
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior IT Support Technician ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides actionabl...
Negotiable depending on experience, plus benefits: Guru Careers: We are seekin...