Selected by Guernica magazine as an "Editors' Picks: Best of 2013"
Unfurling like a medieval book of days, each page of Eduardo Galeano's Children of the Days has an illuminating story that takes inspiration from that date of the calendar year, resurrecting the heroes and heroines who have fallen off the historical map, but whose lives remind us of our darkest hours and sweetest victories.
Challenging readers to consider the human condition and our own choices, Galeano elevates the little-known heroes of our world and decries the destruction of the intellectual, linguistic, and emotional treasures that we have all but forgotten.
Readers will discover many inspiring narratives in this collection of vignettes: the Brazilians who held a smooch-in” to protest against a dictatorship for banning kisses that undermined public morals”; the astonishing day Mexico invaded the United States; and the sacrilegious” women who had the effrontery to marry each other in a church in the Galician city of A Coruña in 1901. Galeano also highlights individuals such as Pedro Fernandes Sardinha, the first bishop of Brazil, who was eaten by Caeté Indians off the coast of Alagoas, as well as Abdul Kassem Ismael, the grand vizier of Persia, who kept books safe from war by creating a walking library of 117,000 tomes aboard four hundred camels, forming a mile-long caravan.
Beautifully translated by Galeano's longtime collaborator, Mark Fried, Children of the Days is a majestic humanist treasure that shows us how to live and how to remember. It awakens the best in us.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Starting this book I did not know what to expect. Such short snippets for each day of the year. It works and Eduardo has managed to produce a minor masterpiece of profound insights, vision, and historical perspective that is unique in my experience. I suggest that anyone even slightly interested in understanding the human condition throughout history give the book a try.
This book is sublime. Each day is marked with a story, many are quite shameful and tell of great cruelty. Many are winsome such as a law that once banned male and female authors on the same shelf. Some are just lovely such as the fact that babies are soothed by Mozart. "This is your new home. And this is how it sounds.
Galea no is thrifty with words using short vignettes to make the point of each day. It seems just as I would feel so defiled to call myself human, he would add a day speaking of the lyricism of the human spirit. This is a somewhat quirky way to tell of our journey through time, but one filled with many occasions of an answering chord.
galeano has a unique style and his brevity is eye-opening, heart rending and frequently warms the soul ... a splendid writer and historian
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