The child who became Gabriela Mistral was born Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga in the town of Vicuña in the poor and sparsely populated Elqui valley, Northern Chile, on 7 April 1889. Her mother, Petronila Alcayaga, was a seamstress, and her father, Juan Jerónimo Godoy, a teacher, musician and amateur poet. After her father abandoned the family home in 1892, she was raised by her elder sister, Emelina, and her mother, in relative poverty. Her schooling, which reached only primary level, was erratic at best, and the largely self-taught Lucila, of mixed Basque, Spanish, Indigenous American and possibly Jewish heritage, was an unlikely candidate to achieve the political power, international renown, and literary consecration that greeted her …

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Bollig, Ben. "Gabriela Mistral". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2008
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Nobel Prize-winners