The Diary Of 'Helena Morley' Paperback – 5 Jun 2008
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A delightful, funny and revealing memoir, a little bit of Austen in the Americas (Spectator)
No wonder Bishop fell in love with this book . . . No adult writer, however skilful . . . could write with the nonchalant vivacity and ease that she unwittingly commanded (Diana Athill, GUARDIAN)
The diary of a young Brazilian girl at the end of the nineteenth century. Introduced and translated by Elizabeth Bishop, one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A young girl's diary of three years of her life in the end of the XIX century in a small diamond-extracting town in Brazil.
Not meant for publication, the author gathered her writings to organize a booklet for her grand-daughters. When she was convinced to publish it, she could never dream it would turn out to be translated into many other languages.
A must for literature lovers.
I loved the account of dinner at Dona Elvira's:
'Lunchtime came, she opened the cupboard and took out a deep crockery dish with only one handle that I found very strange. But as it happened quickly, no one noticed. When she brought the canjica from the kitchen and put it on the table, we looked at one another in bewilderment. Never in my life have I seen a dish of THAT sort in the dining room. Everybody ate the canjica except me. I excused myself by saying I didn't like it. When we left, Naninha said to me, "Silly, it was your loss. Didn't you see that she thinks that's a dish for food?" '
We are immersed in a very alien world. Father is away working at the diamond mines; money is short; slavery has just been stopped but there is an ambiguous relationship between blacks and whites -Alice queries why she should be disapproved of for playing with her black schoolmates. Although she attends church, she mentions her own doubts. Sickness and death and possible incidences of witchcraft interrupt her life.
Even such everyday items as clocks are a rarity. Living by the sun and the roosters, mistakes occur, such as the time Mama wakes her up for early Mass and is stopped by a soldier querying where they're going:
'Mama said "Midnight? I thought it was four o'clock. Thankyou very much for the information." '
A lovely entertaining glimpse into a foreign world through the eyes of an endearing young girl.