THE STARS GROW PALE by Karl Bjarnhof


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...for a youngster whose world narrows with his vision, and this novel (in translation from the Danish) of a boy whose childhood ends with his sight is perhaps most moving in its undemonstrative acceptance. The child of simple people who lived in penury, the toneless existence of his home was not improved at school where the children called him ""cross-eyes"" and the teacher found him inattentive and stupid. Living at a time and in a remote village where handicaps were either unadmitted or rather cruelly singularized, the boy endured his increasingly foggy vision. The local doctor found nothing wrong, a nearby specialist found him just lazy, and finally- after the long trip to Copenhagen- too late- another diagnosed that only a miracle could now save his sight. An operation helped for a time, only, until that last Christmas when his parents bought a large Christmas tree- which would be one to remember during the years ahead to be spent in the Institute.... True to the small world it reflects closely, a world of poor people, simple people, this is a work of some distinction and it is perhaps most unbearable where it is most matter-of-fact. None of this, however, will assure a readership.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1958
Publisher: Knopf