Born in Lancashire as the wealthy heiress to her British father's textiles empire, Leonora Carrington was destined to live the kind of life only known by the moneyed classes. But even from a young age she rebelled against the strict rules of her social class, against her parents and against the hegemony of religion and conservative thought, and broke free to artistic and personal freedom.
Today Carrington is recognised as the key female Surrealist painter, and Poniatowska's fiction charms this exceptional character back to life more truthfully than any biography could. For a time Max Ernst's lover in Paris, Carrington rubbed elbows with Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miro, Andre Breton and Pablo Picasso. When Ernst fled Paris at the outbreak of the Second World War, Carrington had a breakdown and was locked away in a Spanish asylum before escaping to Mexico, where she would work on the paintings which made her name. In the hands of legendary Mexican novelist Elena Poniatowska, Carrington's life becomes a whirlwind tribute to creative struggle and artistic revolution.
Translated by Amanda Hopkinson.
Elena Poniatowska is Mexico's greatest living novelist. She currently lives in Coyoacan, a quiet suburb of Mexico City where the likes of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and an exiled Leon Trotsky famously resided. Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Poniatowska has published novels, non-fiction books and essays and been translated into over twenty languages. She is one of the founders of La Jornada, the feminist magazine Fern, publishing house Siglo XXI and Mexican national film institute Cineteca Nacional. For over fifty years she was a close friend of Leonora Carrington's, until the latter's death in 2011.