Children of the Days by Eduardo Galeano
A Calendar of Human History

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For all of Galeano’s appreciation of history’s absurdities, he has chosen a format that leads to an ahistoric, almost medieval experience of time, a liturgical calendar in which the days don’t move forward into the future but rather pile up into an eternal present.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Selected by Guernica magazine as an "Editors’ Picks: Best of 2013"

Unfurling like a medieval book of days, each page of Eduardo Galeano’s Children of the Days has an illuminating story that takes inspiration from that date of the calendar year, resurrecting the heroes and heroines who have fallen off the historical map, but whose lives remind us of our darkest hours and sweetest victories.

Challenging readers to consider the human condition and our own choices, Galeano elevates the little-known heroes of our world and decries the destruction of the intellectual, linguistic, and emotional treasures that we have all but forgotten.

Readers will discover many inspiring narratives in this collection of vignettes: the Brazilians who held a “smooch-in” to protest against a dictatorship for banning kisses that “undermined public morals”; the astonishing day Mexico invaded the United States; and the “sacrilegious” women who had the effrontery to marry each other in a church in the Galician city of A Coruña in 1901. Galeano also highlights individuals such as Pedro Fernandes Sardinha, the first bishop of Brazil, who was eaten by Caeté Indians off the coast of Alagoas, as well as Abdul Kassem Ismael, the grand vizier of Persia, who kept books safe from war by creating a walking library of 117,000 tomes aboard four hundred camels, forming a mile-long caravan.

Beautifully translated by Galeano’s longtime collaborator, Mark Fried, Children of the Days is a majestic humanist treasure that shows us how to live and how to remember. It awakens the best in us.
 

About Eduardo Galeano

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Eduardo Galeano is one of Latin America's most distinguished writers. He is the author of the three-volume Memory of Fire; Open Veins of Latin America; Soccer in Sun and Shadow; The Book of Embraces; Walking Words; Upside Down; and Voices in Time. Born in Montevideo in 1940, he lived in exile in Argentina and Spain for years before returning to Uruguay. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages. He is recipient of many international prizes, including the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, the Casa de las Américas Prize, and the First Distinguished Citizen of the region by the countries of Mercosur.
 
Published April 30, 2013 by Nation Books. 433 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Children of the Days
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Greg Grandin on Jul 26 2013

For all of Galeano’s appreciation of history’s absurdities, he has chosen a format that leads to an ahistoric, almost medieval experience of time, a liturgical calendar in which the days don’t move forward into the future but rather pile up into an eternal present.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Ian Sansom on May 17 2013

Children of the Days is the ne plus ultra of the Galeano style and form, a triumph of his mosaic art...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Mina Holland on May 11 2013

His condensed history is, like life, at once dark and fascinating, sad yet uplifting.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by John Paul Rathbone on May 03 2013

Children of the Days is a book to dip into; less a narrated history than a compendium of oddments. His writing is full of candour, empathy, humane concern and also predictable convictions.

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Reader Rating for Children of the Days
86%

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