MAY 25, 1925


Rosario, born in Mexico City, was raised near the Guatemalan border. Educated in Mexico & Europe, she was Press Director, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and held visiting professorships in the U.S. before taking the chair in comparative literature at UNAM. Castellanos studied the works of Saint Teresa of Ávila (Spanish 16th-century religious activist & author) and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (17th Century Mexican nun-poet). Her own verse has been compared to Octavio Paz, though she is known for her prose. Rosario’s 1950 master’s thesis, Sobre cultura femenina (“On Feminine Culture”), was a turning point for modern Mexican women writers. Her most famous novel, Oficio de tiniebla (“Craft of Darkness”), places a 19th Century Indian rebellion in the 1930s after the land reforms of the Mexican Revolution.  She donated her lands to the Indians of Chiapas.  In 1971, Castellanos became Mexico’s ambassador to Israel.  Rosario died August 7, 1974, in her Tel Aviv home.

Source: Roberto Gonzalez Eschevarria, “Rosaria Castellanos,” The Encyclopedia Britannica, 5/21/2020.  Retrieved 6/7/2020,
Photo: Thelmadatter, 5/24/2009.  Tomb of Rosario Castellanos in the Panteon Civil de Dolores cemetery in Mexico City. Permissive Use. 

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