Laura Pérez de Oleas Zambrano, pseudonym Doña Manuelita (Quito, circa 1904-14 — circa 1981) was an Ecuadorian writer. She authored a novel, a collection of stories, two radio dramas, and an unpublished collection of poems. One of her significant works, published in 1959, is the novel “Sangre en las manos” (Blood on the Hands), which grapples with the moral complexities of abortion. This compelling narrative draws inspiration from a real-life incident, the trial of an obstetrician in Quito during 1938, charged with the death of a patient during a clandestine abortion. Her other notable work is a two-volume collection of stories entitled, “Historias, leyendas y tradiciones ecuatorianas” [Ecuadorian Stories, Leyends and Traditions] (1962).
* Because there does not appear to be agreement on the exact date of Laura Pérez’s birth or death, we have chosen to approximate the dates based on data from various sources, hence why circa is used above.
Laura Pérez de Oleas Zambrano was born circa 1904-1914 in Quito, Ecuador. After losing her mother at an early age, she became a student boarder at La Inmaculada School, under the tutelage of Belgian nuns, where she also studied piano and painting. Although she was born into a wealthy family, as a young woman she faced economic difficulties when she was left a widow with two children. Through her second husband, Neptalí Oleas Zambrano, Pérez had contact with the Ecuadorian socialist party. Her literary work included a collection of short stories, two radio dramas, a novel and an unpublished collection of poems.
- Sangre en las manos (Editorial Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1959)
- Historias, leyendas y tradiciones ecuatorianas. Primer tomo. (1962)
- Historias, leyendas y tradiciones ecuatorianas. Segundo tomo. (1962)