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TALKING WITH TEBê by Mary E. Lyons


Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist

edited by Mary E. Lyons

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-395-72031-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Lyons (Catching the Fire, 1997, etc.) introduces an extraordinary woman in Clementine Hunter, through careful collages of interviews that present the artist’s story in her own words. Born in Louisiana in 1886, Hunter (called TebÇ by her family) lived a “slavelike existence” on the Melrose Plantation, where her back-breaking work consisted of picking cotton, harvesting pecans, gathering figs, and cooking for the owners--all while raising her five children, and painting in rare spare moments. Hunter didn’t consider herself an artist, although her self-taught paintings and quilts are indeed works of art. Hunter’s relevant works appear throughout the book, telling stories of their own. The expertly edited interviews create a glowing portrait of the hard-working, outspoken woman who died in 1988 at the age of 101; the narrative flows, a conversation with the artist about her life that also offers insights into the folk-art style. (b&w photos, bibliography) (Biography. 8-12)