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Have I got a discovery for you! This little gem, THE BOOK OF EMMA REYES, is a posthumous memoir told in 23 letters that were published ten years after the author’s death. This woman survived a childhood of abject poverty – abandoned by her mother, raised by a garbage heap in Bogota, Colombia, subjected to a full work shift by the age of five – to become a painter who rubbed shoulders in Europe with Jean-Paul Sartre, Frida Kahlo and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Gabriel Garcia Marquez phoned her to encourage her! In the first 30 pages you’ll watch slum children erect a god out of garbage, and the first nightmarish automobile arrive in town – electrifying moments. Here’s an example, the author as a child talking to a child friend: “he asked me if I had a dad and a mom, and I asked him what those were, and he said he didn’t know either.” It’s a physically gorgeous little book, with a cover featuring art by Emma Reyes, and interior pages with samples of her longhand script and several unforgettable drawings. Translated and introduced by Daniel Alarcon, a brilliant young writer on his own. Are you looking for a woman writer with determination, talent, and some unforgettable tales to tell? Meet Emma.

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THE BOOK OF EMMA REYES

by Emma Reyes

(translated by Daniel Alarcon)

Regular price $24

20% off at University Book Store

Our price $19.20

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CHILDHOOD NEAR A GARBAGE HEAP IN BOGOTA

 

Emma and her older sister, Helena, grew up abandoned by their mother, living near the garbage heap in a windowless room without toilet or water or electricity.

 

Illiterate until her late teens, Emma made her way across South America to Europe, working and learning and painting, until she was befriended by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

 

This posthumous memoir composed of 23 letters was first published ten years after Emma Reyes’ death. It’s a truthful, child’s-eye view of abject poverty and the grim unfairness of life, and how they shape a strong woman artist.

 

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Come discuss the book with us!

Nick’s Picks Book Club

UNIVERSITY BOOK STORE

4326 University Way NE

The bookstore café

Monday, September 25, 6 pm

 

Only 175 pages, gorgeous images, swift, honest style from a determined writer – really, what more could you ask for? – Nick

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