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SARA'S CITY by Sue Alexander



Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1995
Publisher: Clarion

Sara describes her day in 1940 Chicago: looking out the window, going to school, riding the el, listening to the radio with her father, etc. The tiny episodes are captured in easy sentences, carefully and imaginatively constructed to read like aphorisms. Alexander (Lila on the Landing, 1987, etc.) gives most of them punch, either in content or in the way the words are laid out, e.g., ""The school doctor/came today./He didn't smile/even once . . . /but neither did I."" Himler's characteristic illustrations in browns and yellows convey a mood of mute nostalgia. The faces are detailed enough to reflect light, but their features are partly blurred by the lens of memory. The pictures have the same controlled aspect as the text and work with its subtle effects to achieve a full-fledged poetic vision.