FRIDA by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Kirkus Star

FRIDA

¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life!
Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A striking appreciation pairs archival photographs and reproductions of the famed Mexican artist’s work with image-rich free-verse poems. Writing primarily in the voice of the surrealist Frida Kahlo, Bernier-Grand presents readers with 26 poems that take her subject from birth to death, unswervingly touching upon the difficult territory in between: polio, the accident that led to some 31 subsequent operations, her (two) marriages to Diego Rivera, their mutual infidelities and her miscarriages. The poems often refer explicitly to Kahlo’s works, as in “Wounded Deer”—“My barren landscapes show my barren self. / I have lost three children. / Four arrows in my heart / to remind Diego how his shots have made me bleed”—which appears opposite the startling self-portrait that places Kahlo’s face atop a deer pierced with arrows. Beautiful design abets these juxtapositions, both poems and images set against generous white space, thick stock allowing no bleed-through on page turns. Captions help to elucidate the paintings but do not overwhelm. In all, it’s an astonishing effort, buttressed by meaty backmatter that makes Kahlo accessible to a new generation in a way straight text never could. (Poetry. YA)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5336-9
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2007




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