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|Birthday/Birthplace||25 May 1925
Mexico City, Mexico
|Deceased||7 August 1974(1974-08-07)
Tel Aviv, Israel
|Profession(s)||Poet and author|
|School(s)||National Autonomous University of Mexico|
|Literary movement||Generation of 1950|
Rosario Castellanos Figueroa (Mexico City, May 25, 1925-Tel Aviv, Israel, August 7, 1974) was a Mexican writer and diplomat, considered one of the most important Mexican writers of the twentieth century.
Rosario Castellanos grew up on her family’s farm in Comitán, in the Mayan region of southern Mexico called Altos de Chiapas. At the age of seven, her younger brother Mario died of appendicitis and her parents died in 1948. She was left an orphan and with limited financial means. She felt an urgent need for self-expression and soon became the first female writer in Chiapas.
Later, she emigrated to Mexico City where, in 1950, she graduated as a philosophy teacher from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and got acquainted with Ernesto Cardenal, Dolores Castro, Jaime Sabines and Augusto Monterroso. She also studied aesthetics at the University of Madrid with a scholarship from the Institute of Hispanic Culture from 1950 to 1951. She was a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM, as well as at the University of Wisconsin, at the Colorado State University and at the University of Indiana. She wrote for years in the newspaper Excelsior, was a promoter of the Chiapaneco Institute of Culture and the National Indian Institute, as well as secretary of the PEN Club. In 1954-5 she was awarded a scholarship by the Rockefeller Foundation at the Mexican Writers Center.
She married philosophy professor Ricardo Guerra in 1958, and the birth of her son, Gabriel, was an important moment in her life, as she was battling depression after miscarriages and the death of a daughter. In the end, however, she divorced after thirteen years of marriage. She had suffered the depression of her miscarriages and infidelities of her husband, and devoted an extremely large part of her work and energies to the defense of women’s rights, for which she is remembered as one of the symbols of Latin American feminism. . But on a personal level his own life was marked by a difficult marriage and continuous depressions.
As a cultural promoter, she worked at the Institute of Sciences and Arts of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and directed the Teatro Guiñol of the Tzeltal-Tzotzil Coordinating Center, sponsored by the National Indigenous Institute. At UNAM, she worked as Director General of Information and Press (1960-1966) and was a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, before working in the foreign service. She was named ambassador of Mexico in Israel in 1971, and worked as a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in addition to her work as a diplomat.
Castellanos died at the young age of 49 because of an unfortunate domestic accident. He died in Tel Aviv on August 7, 1974, as a result of an electric shock caused by a lamp when he came to answer the phone when he went out to bathe. His remains rest in the Rotunda of the Illustrious Persons since August 9, 1974. [citation required]
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