El Nio En La Letra

Pablo Helguera, Author, Marta Merajver, Translator Jorge Pinto Books $19.95 (292p) ISBN 978-1-934978-05-4
It is not often that we get a glimpse into an artist's past. Often we must rely on speculation, deriving emotional content from the art works themselves. In this memoir, El ni\xF1o en la letra, accomplished Mexican artist Helguera allows us to witness his coming of age as an artist. Drawing largely on diary entries from Helguera's youth, the author calls his text a novel, suggesting perhaps that it is difficult to look back at youth with an objective eye and that there is artistry in recalling memories. The book opens with a bewildering sense of place: the names of streets, brands, and sights and sounds of Chicago, where he attended art school, float to the surface as if the author were trying to remember too much at once. Naturally, the diary entries are the most fascinating parts. Full of intense longing and adolescent loneliness, they hold an incredible universal appeal, revealing both Helguera's obsessive unrequited love for Fuensanta and his feelings of frustration and isolation in Chicago. Anyone who recalls the trials of adolescence or experienced creative frustrations will find the author's account of his experiences both familiar and comforting. Although this book was originally written in English, the diary entries themselves were written in Spanish. Recommended for any public library or bookstore. Laura Torres, Arlington, MA
Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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