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The Diary Of 'Helena Morley' Paperback – 5 Jun 2008


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Product Description

Review

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)

Book Description

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9975e4bc) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Virgilio Pereira de Almei - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Unpretentious, yet magically beautiful.
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a9c2030) out of 5 stars Charming, insightful, and humorous; life thru a child's eyes 14 Dec. 1997
By Frank Ferguson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Diary of a girl in rural Brazil in the late 1890's; now translated into English, the book has a charm of its own that transcends time and place. Diary entries are short, so the book can be read in bits and pieces. But should not be missed by anyone who loves life and the often acerbic observations of a child. Sadly, the original in Portuguese is no longer in print in either Brazil or Portugal, but the English version lives on. Don't miss it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99dda0f4) out of 5 stars 'my life as a young girl' 29 Oct. 2012
By sally tarbox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Beginning in 1893, the exuberant twelve year old Alice Dayrell started a diary. English on her father's side, but Brazilian through her mother's, she writes of the everyday occurrences that made up her life in Diamantina, Brazil: the squabbling and eccentric relatives and neighbours; her beloved grandmother; helping with the household chores; attending church; school with its pressures (she hopes to become a teacher); fits of giggles at the most inopportune times.
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By LT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is fresh an uplifting...such a witty, charming author. I picked this book up in Parati,Brazil and am thankful for it!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By m morrissey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
a thrift store find for me if ever the confirmation of concept that ze de caixcao and all that brasil maintains some peculiarly heavenly status among nations helena englisg girl rocks the firmament how fortuititpo fortuitous is it a life in heaven so to iscribe, dimantina ... head's eeling... must I finish book some 0 pages left??? noooooo nooooo noooo magic love girlyquirly supreme supremes ... to think I found itr at a thrift store! there's a diety a god a bookish booghost on refuse de le perdre brava b b b rava merci etc i am in heaven
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