Griselda Gambaro was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has spent her life there, aside from a year in Rome in 1970 and almost three years in Barcelona (1977-1980). She is the daughter of a postal worker, and because she came from a family with limited economic means, after she finished high school in 1943 she went to work in the business office of a publishing company. Through her writing and its successes, she has enjoyed greater financial security. She is married to the sculptor Juan Carlos Distefano and is the mother of two children, Andrea, born in 1961, and Lucas, born in 1965. Many of the critics who meet Gambaro in Argentina or during one of her trips abroad are struck by her gentle manner and gracious demeanor, which belie the brutality, vigor, and cruelty expressed in her texts. Although she once called herself “a cowardly person,” any reader or spectator of her work soon realizes that the texts also disprove this evaluation, for the writer of these plays must be brave indeed to face the types of bleak and cruel situations that are portrayed. The expectation is implied, however, that the works will bring forth the kind of participation needed to correct the real problems of today’s sociopolitical environment.
According to her recollections, she was always writing; that is, from the moment she learned to read she also began to write. She threw away many pieces of work until she was sufficiently satisfied to offer as her first effort worthy of publishing Madrigal en ciudad, a collection of three short novellas that won the Prize of the Argentine Fondo Nacional de las Artes for narrative in 1963. Soon after, she received the Premio Emece in 1965 for the collection El desatino (1965), also containing novellas and short stories. At the same time, two plays emerged from the prose pieces, Las paredes and El desatino, each winning theatrical prizes: for Las paredes, the Premio de la Asociacion de Teatros and the Fondo Nacional de las Artes in 1964, and for El desatino, the Prize of the Revista Teatro XX in 1965. One of the characteristics of her writing production that emerged from the beginning was her development of some of the...
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