Ángeles Mastretta

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Ángeles Mastretta (born October 9, 1949, in Puebla) is a Mexican author and journalist. She is well known for creating inspirational female characters and fictional pieces that reflect the social and political realities of Mexico in her life.[citation needed]


Mastretta began writing as a journalist for a Mexican magazine, Siete and an afternoon newspaper, Ovaciones. She claims that her father – a journalist in her youth – inspired her to be a writer.

In 1974, she received a scholarship from the Mexican Writers' Center. She attended the center and was able to work on her writing abilities along with other authors such as Juan Rulfo, Salvador Elizondo, and Francisco Monterde. After a year of working at the Mexican Writers' Center, a collection of Mastretta's poetry entitled La pájara pinta (The Colorful Bird) was published.

Mastretta really wanted to focus on a novel that she had been thinking about for years. She finally got her chance to work on this novel when an editor offered to sponsor Mastretta on a six-month leave of absence, allowing her to focus solely on writing. She took the offer and ended up embarking on a sabbatical to complete Arráncame la vida (Tear This Heart Out). The novel (published in 1985) was an immediate success, and earned her the Mazatlán Prize for Literature for Best Book of the Year.

Arráncame la vida was a critical and popular success in Mexico and abroad. As a result, Mastretta was able to focus more on her fiction-writing passion. The film of the same name and based upon the novel was released in September 2008.

Mastretta won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize for her 1996 novel, Mal de Amores (Lovesick).

When her infant daughter unexpectedly fell ill, Mastretta sat next to her child in the hospital and began to tell stories of interesting and different women in her family who were important to her in critical moments of her life. These stories of women who "decided their own destinies" became the inspiration for Mujeres de ojos grandes (Women with Big Eyes). The publication — autobiographical narratives based on each of the women – was intended to preserve the stories for posterity.


Other works by Mastretta[edit]

  • Mujeres de ojos grandes (Women with Big Eyes) (1990)
  • Puerto libre (Free port) (1993)
  • Mal de Amores (Lovesick) (1996)
  • El mundo iluminado (The Illuminated World) (1998)
  • Ninguna eternidad como la mía (No Eternity Like Mine) (1999)
  • El cielo de los leones (2003)
  • Maridos (2007)
  • Mujeres de ojos grandes (Women with Big Eyes) (2009)
  • La emoción de las cosas (2012)