Mercedes Valdivieso (March 1, 1924 – August 3, 1993) was a Chilean writer, known since her earliest writings for the subversive nature of her texts.
She was born in Santiago, Chile.
She first wrote La Brecha (Breakthrough) in 1961, which is considered to be a landmark feminist Latin-American novel.
This novel caused dismay from the reactionary segment of society and loud applause from the critics and is considered a revolutionary departure from the traditional treatment of the feminine role in marriage.
Breakthrough is a novel that ends with the heroine's awareness that she didn't really need to depend upon a man in order to lead a fulfilling life.
The book enjoyed an unexpected publishing success and went through five consecutive editions.
Mercedes Valdivieso had the extreme audacity to become an innovator; she bridged the gap between romantic and domestic fiction in a society where women have been viewed as a sexless gender, icons of virtue, and depending on men to meet the necessities of life.
Valdivieso also was founder and director of Adan, a men's magazine, and Breakthrough, a feminist publication, she published articles in newspapers and magazines and she gave many lectures and speeches.
She taught literature at the University of Peking, at the University of Houston, at Stephen F.
Austin State University in Nacogdoches,at University of St.
Thomas in Houston and she was a Professor Emeritus at Rice University.