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Zenta Mauriņa

Zenta Mauriņa

Latvian writer
Zenta Mauriņa
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Latvian writer
A.K.A. Zenta Maurina
Was Linguist Writer Translator Children's writer
From Latvia
Type Literature Social science
Gender female
Birth 15 December 1897, Gulbene, Latvia
Death 25 April 1978, Basel, Switzerland (aged 80 years)
Star sign Sagittarius
Spouse: Konstantīns Raudive
The details (from wikipedia)


Latvian postage stamp depicting Zenta Mauriņa

Zenta Mauriņa (15 December 1897 – 25 April 1978) was a Latvian writer, essayist and researcher in philology. She was married to the Electronic Voice Phenomena researcher Konstantin Raudive.


Born to doctor Roberts Mauriņš, Zenta spent her childhood in Grobiņa, where, at the age of five, she contracted polio leaving her confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. After studying at the Russian girls high school in Liepaja (1913–1915), she studied philosophy at the Latvian University in Riga (1921–1923). After this, she studied philology of Baltic languages (1923–1927). She taught at the Latvian Teachers Institute and at the Latvian University in Riga and in Murmuiza, and achieved her doctorate in philology in 1938, researching the works of Latvian poet and philosopher, Fricis Bārda.

At the close of the Second World War, Mauriņa went into exile, first in Germany, but later in Sweden, where she became a lecturer at Uppsala University (1949–1963). In 1966 she moved to Bad Krozingen in southern Germany, where she was buried after her death in a hospital in Basel, Switzerland.


Up to 1944, Mauriņa published 19 books in Latvia, including monographs on Latvian writers Rainis, Jānis Poruks, Anna Brigadere and Fricis Bārda, as well as on Dostoyevsky and Dante. During this period she also wrote her novel, Life on a Train (1941). After the war, she published 20 books in Latvian, and 27 in German, and her works have been widely translated into Italian, English, Russian, Swedish, Dutch, Finnish and Danish. Notable among her works in German are:

  • The Long Journey (Die weite Fahrt) (her autobiography)
  • A Prophet of the Soul : Fyodor Dostoievsky (a biography, translated from the Latvian by C. P. Finlayson)
  • Heart mosaic (Mosaik des Herzens) (essays)
  • In the beginning, was joy (Im Anfang war die Freude) (short stories)
  • A loved life – a lived life (Geliebtes Leben – gelebtes Leben) (essays)
  • A Portrait of Russian Writers (Porträts russischer Schriftsteller) (essays)


  • Officer Cross, of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1968)
  • PBLA (World Free Latvians Association) Award (1969)
  • Konrad Adenauer Prize, for literature (1971)
  • Honorary citizen of Bad Krozingen (1977)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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