Elena Poniatowska

Elena Poniatowska (born May 19, 1932 in Paris, France as Princess Hélène Elizabeth Louise Amélie Paula Dolores Poniatowska Amor) is a Polish-Mexican journalist and author.


Poniatowska was born in Paris to Prince Jean Evremont Poniatowski Sperry and Paula Amor-Escandón. Her father was a Polish nobleman who was a descendant of the brother of King Stanislaus II of Poland, the last king of Poland. The Poniatowski brothers of King Stanislaus were granted Princely titles as relatives to the King. Her mother, Paulette Amor Iturbide, was a Mexican citizen of mixed French ancestry, and also a descendant of the abortive Mexican nobility (which existed for several months in 1822-1823; see Iturbide Family).

Poniatowska fled France with her mother from World War II. The family settled in Mexico City. In 1943, Elena was sent to study to the United States. She returned to Mexico in 1953 and started her career as a journalist working for the Mexican newspaper Excelsior.

She is best known for her 1971 work La noche de Tlatelolco (published in English as Massacre in Mexico), in which she relates her interviews with survivors and families of those who died in the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City. Since then she has published several works of fiction, testimonial literature, as well as book compilations of her interviews with writers, artists, and politicians. In recent years her prominence as a public intellectual and political figure in Mexico has increased.

Since 2005, Poniatowska has been an active supporter of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. On April 2006 she appeared in a series of television commercials denouncing the attempts of the other two major parties, particularly the National Action Party, to link López Obrador to leftist President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

Her aunt was Mexican aristocrat Guadalupe 'Pita' Amor.


  • 1954 - Lilus Kikus (Collection of Short Stories)
  • 1969 - Hasta no verte, Jesus mío (Novel)
  • 1971 - La noche de Tlatelolco, about the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre (Historic Account)
  • 1978 - Querido Diego, te abraza Quiela (Collection of fictional letters from Angelina Beloff to Diego Rivera.)
  • 1979 - Gaby Brimmer, a recount of mexican-born author and cerebral palsy victim Gabriela Brimmer, who learned to write with her foot...
  • 1980 - Fuerte es el silencio (Historic Account)
  • 1988 - La flor de lis (Novel)
  • 1988 - Nada, nadie. Las voces del temblor, about the 1985 Mexico City earthquake (Historic Account)
  • 1991 - Tinísima (Novel)
  • 1997 - Paseo de la Reforma (Novel)
  • 2001 - La piel del cielo (Novel)
  • 2003 - Tlapalería (Collection of Short Stories)
  • 2006 - El tren pasa pimero (Novel)
  • 2007 - Amanecer en el Zócalo. Los 50 días que confrontaron a México (Historic Account)




Further reading


  • The writing of Elena Poniatowska : engaging dialogues / Beth Ellen Jorgensen., 1994
  • Elena Poniatowska : an intimate biography / Michael Karl Schuessler., 2007
  • Reading the feminine voice in Latin American women's fiction : from Teresa de la Parra to Elena Poniatowska and Luisa Valenzuela / María Teresa Medeiros-Lichem., 2002
  • Through their eyes : marginality in the works of Elena Poniatowska, Silvia Molina and Rosa Nissán / Nathanial Eli Gardner., 2007


  • Elenísima : ingenio y figura de Elena Poniatowska / Michael Karl Schuessler., 2003
  • Catálogo de ángeles mexicanos : Elena Poniatowska / Carmen Perilli., 2006
  • Me lo dijo Elena Poniatowska : su vida, obra y pasiones / Esteban Ascencio., 1997
  • Elena Poniatowska / Margarita García Flores., 1983

External links

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