Ana Maria Matute
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Ana Maria Matute

Ana Maria Matute (1925-2014) was born in Barcelona and was born into quite a well off family as her father owned the unusual business of the umbrellas though it would be useful in the United Kingdom. It is worth noting that she spend a fair amount of time during her childhood in Madrid though this isn't something particularly reflected in her work. Her presence was felt from the remains of the Spanish civil war. As many others, her life was deeply affected by the events that took place and it obviously had a significant effect on her work. She became known as one of the voices emerging from the war.

Her life was almost over before it had even had chance to start as at the mere age of four she was struck down with an illness. Ironically, this would ultimately benefit her writing, as she went to live in a village with her grandparents and it is said that the people she met whilst there really influenced her work. If you want to see this influence put to paper then be sure to check out Historias de la Artamila which was published in 1961.

As mentioned, she was affected by the events of the war. The unique aspect of her work, however, was that she looked outside of the normal narrow views of one against the other and looked deeper into the internal struggles and battles within each side.This approach allowed her to really dive into the mix of emotions that would have been surrounding the events that took place. She was married in 1952 and then divorced in 1965 and with the laws how they were at the time she wasn't allowed to see her son, which obviously caused distress for her. She didn't use any of that emotion for her work, but you can be sure that her son was the influence for the children's books she previously published. Still going strong she worked in the United States as a university/college professor. As you can imagine from her previous work she was outspoken and sure to voice her opinion as well as extract the honest views of the students she taught.

Considered one of the great Spanish writers because of her affable personality, she was called by many contemporary writers "our patroness". A great and endearing distinction for a single author.

Some of her awards include

  • El Premio Nadal
  • El Premio Nacional de Literatura
  • El Premio Planeta
  • El Premio Cafe Gijon
  • The only female member of the RSA (Royal Spanish Academy)