Ana Maria Matute


Madrid.—Prize-winning novelist Ana Maria Matute, who spent a literary lifetime exploring the crushed innocence of her childhood during the Spanish Civil War, died yesterday of a heart attack, her son told Reuters.
She was 88 years old and lived in Barcelona.
Her novels spanning the 1940s to the 1960s depicted the devastation of rural, war-torn Spain from a child’s perspective.
In her 1959 novel “School of the Sun”, a girl named Maria comes of age while the war divides her family and her town on the Mediterranean island of Majorca, with a doll named Gorogo her sole confidant. Maria’s gradual abandonment of the doll and of fairy tales, and her friendship with a boy who is ostracised in the village, mark her transition to adulthood.
Decades later, when Matute won Spain’s highest literary award, the Cervantes - she was the third woman to receive the honour - she spoke of her own Gorogo, a doll her father brought her from London when she was five, who became her only friend.


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