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Natália Correia (1923–1993)

Author of A Madona

Includes the names: Natalia Correia, Natália Correia, Natália Correia

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Natália Correia was born in Fajã de Baixo on the island of São Miguel in the Azores of Portugal. Her parents were Maria José de Oliveira, a primary school teacher and her husband Manuel de Medeiros Correia. When Natália was 11, her father emigrated to Brazil, and she and her older sister moved with their mother to Lisbon. In 1945, she made her literary debut with a children's book called A Grande Aventura de Um Pequeno Herói (Great Adventures of a Small Hero). She became familiar with all forms of literature as a poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, translator, journalist, screenwriter, and editor. She demonstrated a deep affection for the beauty of her native island in her work, and was much influenced by surrealism. Her works spanned the spectrum from poetic romanticism to satire. She became active in the opposition to the regime of Portugese dictator António Oliveira Salazar. For the publication of her Antologia da Poesia Portuguesa Erótica e Satírica (Anthology of Portuguese Erotic Poetry and Satire, 1966), considered offensive by the authorities, she was sentenced to three years in prison, but the term was suspended. She was also put on trial as the editor of Novas Cartas Portuguesas (New Portuguese Letters) written by The Three Marias: Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Velho da Costa and Maria Teresa Horta. In 1980, after Portugal's bloodless revolution of 1974, she was elected to Parliament as a member of the Partido Popular Democrático (PPD). Her home became a meeting place for well-known writers such as Henry Miller, Graham Greene and Eugène Ionesco. In 1991, she received the Grand Prize in Poetry from the Associação Portuguesa de Escritores for her book Sonetos Românticos (Romantic Sonnets), considered one of the most beautiful contemporary literary works in Portuguese. She married four times during her 70 years.
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