Davina Ester Mesa (11 October 1910- 24 December 1958) was a Colombian novelist and poet, commonly known as Nina throughout Latin America. Although considered to be one of the most important authors of her time, Mesa did not receive any recognition for her work until after her death. Her work earned her the Latino American Literature Price in 1962 and the Golden Feather Price in 1963, bestowed by the Spanish royal family. She initially pursued a career in medicine but dropped out after the unexpected dead of her father Rodrigo Mesa in 1938; such event would later become the event that motivated her appetite and talent for literature, as well as the trigger of her mental issues. In 1939 Mesa married her husband Lalo Martinez who died only a year later as a result of a tragic car accident in Bogota, Colombia.
A native of Macondo, Mesa was raised by her father, an affluent and respected psychiatrist, after the death of her mother Ester Mesa during child birth. At the age of twelve, her father decided to send Davina to Bogota to attend a very conservative and traditional Catholic school. Leaving her father at such young age was a traumatizing event for Mesa who had been never been separated from her dad. She once referred to that experience as “the time when I became an orphan”; that sentiment of abandonment would later turn into a big part of her work. As she became older she decided to follow the steps of her father and become a psychiatrist. It was during her last year at the Universidad del Rosario that she met her husband Lalo Martinez. Mesa left the University a year shy of her graduation –after her father’s death– due to depression caused by the unexpected loss. It was that event what triggered her creative talent, but the death of her husband, two years later, gave Davina Mesa the heart wrenching inspiration to write the deeply moving pieces, that made her one of the most significant authors of her time.
Following those tragic events, Davina moved to Italy were she wrote her most important work. Some of it includes short-stories, plays, essays loaded with social criticism, but more importantly four classic novels. Her most acclaimed work includes Lalo, Venire Una Va (1941), Con Te Partiro (1942) A Life Not Worth Living (1943), Little Girl (1944), The Eyes of The Forgotten (1946), and her book-length essay Take It or Leave It: The Voice of Oppressed Women (1950).
After the publication of her latest book Lost Wings (1951), sadden by her failure to start a new life in Europe and trying to run away from her depression, Mesa decided to leave her home in the city of Florence, Italy and moved back to her beloved Colombia. Only five months after moving to her father’s favorite lake house, Mesa died at the age of 48 of a prescription medication overdose. Mesa was found death at her father’s house in Macondo by her assistant on Christmas Eve of 1958.