Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) rose from poverty in the foothills of the Andes to become the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945. This volume provides both a detailed biography of the author and a careful analysis of her writing. Chronicling the personal, psychological, and social currents of Mistral's life and times, it addresses such topics as her finances, illness, and sexuality. Literary analysis considers the sacred and secular influences on Mistral's oevre, including Catholicism, the Hebraic tradition, Theosophy, and Buddhism. By recounting Mistral's intelligence and perseverance in overcoming her life's obstacles to reach the pinnacle of her field, this book establishes her as a model for Chileans and for humanity.
Martin C. Taylor has taught Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Nebraska. The former dean of the Panama Center of Nova Southeastern University, he is the author of several books and articles on Latin American Literature.