MY FRIEND THE PAINTER by Lygia Bojunga Nunes


Age Range: 10 & up
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 Claudio, 11, remembers his dear friend, a painter who lived in the apartment upstairs, and tries to come to terms with his suicide. Daily, Claudio records his feelings and the facts that he's piecing together: that his friend, once jailed for his political activities, was again in danger; that he loved Clarice, who was unwilling to leave her husband and child; that, although their conversations had opened Claudio's eyes and mind to the world of color, the artist judged his own work as second-rate. Overhearing his protective parents, talking to unsympathetic neighbors, and finally making friends with the grieving Clarice, Claudio garners bits of information and finally realizes that his reiterated ``Why?'' is also an essential part of his evolving picture of his departed friend. Though the Brazilian Nunes's books have been widely acclaimed (she received the 1982 Andersen Award), this seems to be the first published here. Her subtle transitions between present, past, and dream-world may not always be easy for young people to follow, and the focus on adults may not attract a wide following; but for the special reader, a rich, poetic glimpse of universal feelings filtered through an unfamiliar culture. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-15-256340-7
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1991


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