An American Library Association Notable Books List selection
Nobel Peace Prize winner and noted Maya activist Rigoberta Menchu Tum brings the world of her childhood vividly alive in The Girl from Chimel.
Before the thirty-six year war in Guatemala, despite the hardships the Maya people had endured since the time of the Conquest, life in their highland villages had a beauty and integrity that were changed forever by the conflict and brutal genocide that were to come. Menchu's stories of her grandparents and parents, of the natural world that surrounded her as a young girl, and her retelling of the stories that she was told present a rich, humorous and engaging picture of that lost world.
Marvelous illustrations by Domi draw on the Maya landscape and the rich visual vocabulary that can be found in the weavings and crafts for which the Maya are world-renowned.
David Unger received Guatemala’s 2014 Miguel Angel Asturias National Prize in Literature for lifetime achievement, though he writes exclusively in English and lives in the US. The Mastermind (Akashic Books, 2016), his latest novel, has been translated into Spanish, Arabic and Italian. In 2011 he published The Price of Escape (Akashic Books) and Para Mi, Eres Divina (Random House Mondadori, Mexico). Other books include Ni chicha, ni limonada (F y G Editores, 2009) and Life in the Damn Tropics (Wisconsin University Press, 2004). His short stories and essays have appeared in Delta de las arenas: cuentos árabes, cuentos judíos (Literal Publishers, 2013), Puertos Abiertos (FCE, 2011), Guernica Magazine (February 2016, April 2011, November 2007 and August 2006) and Playboy Mexico (October 2005). He has translated 14 titles including Popol Vuh, Guatemala’s pre-Columbian creation myth, and the work of Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala), Silvia Molina (Mexico), Nicanor Parra (Chile), Teresa Cárdenas (Cuba) and Mario Benedetti (Uruguay), among others.Dante Liano is an eminent Guatemalan writer and National Literature Award laureate. He currently lives in Milan, where he teaches Latin American literature. He is the author of The Man from Montserrat, The San Andres Mystery and co-authored of The Girl from Chimel.Domi's wonderful illustrations appear in many children's books, including the Napí titles by Antonio Ramírez; The Night the Moon Fell (La noche que se cayó la luna) and The Race of Toad and Deer (La carrera del sapo y el venado) by Pat Mora; The Girl from Chimel, The Honey Jar and The Secret Legacy by Rigoberta Menchú; and The Story of Colors by Zapatista hero Sub-Comandante Marcos. Domi is Mazateca and grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico.
[Menchu's] writing evokes a world of wild, friendly magic in which every living creature has its own spirit double. - Horn Book
...a vivid memoir of [Menchu's] girlhood in the then unspoiled village of Chimel...the book memorializes an idyllic interdependency between the human and the natural... - Canadian Literature
...the text throughout is captivating and provides a rare glimpse at indigenous Guatemalan and Mayan culture. - Bulletin
Created with strong, primitive forms and vibrant colors, full-page oil paintings brighten half the double-page spreads and provide memorable scenes of Chimel through three generations. - Booklist
Domi...adds full-page, folk-art style scenes in glowing colors...the effect is as atmospheric as the text. - Kirkus Reviews
Domi's colorful flat oil paintings, with traditional Mayan symbols and motifs, perfectly complement this collection. - Book Links
This slim book would be a welcome addition to a school or public library. - Resource Links
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