The Life and Death of Carolina Maria De Jesus
In the dozen years Carolina Maria de Jesus (1914-1977)
lived in a Sao Paulo, Brazil, shanty slum, she survived by rummaging for junk.
She also kept a diary of her abject poverty. Black, illegitimate, and poor, she
suddenly became at age forty-six Brazil's best-selling author when a book drawn
from her diaries appeared in 1960. An English translation, "Child of the Dark,"
was published in 1962 and sold over 300,000 copies in the United States in a
decade. "Newsweek" heralded her book as "a desperate, terrifying outcry from the
slums of Sao Paulo. . . one of the most astonishing documents of the lower depts
ever printed." Collaborating with a Brazilian colleague, Levine tells the story
of Carolina's life, giving particular emphasis to the years following her
publishing success, and engages in a provocative debate over what Carolina's
life reveals about such issues as racism in Brazil, the rigidity of that
country's class system, and the process of constructing an identity amid
constant degradation and proverty.
Child Of The Dark: The Diary Of Carolina Maria De Jesus
This book is truly an eye opener as to what it really means to be poor and hungry. I can't believe that someone with only two years of schooling could churn out such a masterpiece, the language and thought processes involved will leave you wondering with amazement. What suprises you is that in and amongst all the squalor, deprivation, fights and hunger she still admires the night sky, the birds, the stars, the beautiful weather. What a woman ! Most people in her position wouldn't have time to be thankful for these "free" beautiful things and that is what I found so touching. Her dedication to her children and indeed her neighbours will teach all us other mortals in the devleoped world what being humble really means. At times this woman cannot find a meal but when she has money and food she shares it with her friends and neighbours, wondering little if she will have a meal the next day. Her ability to keep going despite her adversities will shock you. Please read this book, you will aspire to be a better person afterwards. --an Amazon reviewer
Going To Have A Little House:
This is the second book of Carolina Maria De Jesus's life. She was a black woman writer living in the slums of Brazil in the 1950's. A reporter discovered her & made her famous. You really need to read the first book, "Child of the Dark" to enjoy & understand this one. The book is written like a diary; I devoured the pages in this book, eager to learn more about her life. After Carolina becomes famous & moves out of the slums she encounters different problems but all & all she's much happier. It was great to read about her eating in restaurants, buying & cooking food for her children, not having to be hungry anymore. I cheered for her as she took her first shower, her first car ride, plane ride, her first stay in a hotel. She buys clothes & jewelry for herself & I'm so happy for her I could burst. This woman went from being a scavenger to being a guest at governor's mansions, appearing on TV shows, and doing tons of book signings all across Brazil and many other South American countries. The relationship between Carolina & Audolio Dantes (the reporter who discovered her & made her famous) is also explored and adds interesting aspects to the story. For example, she can't cash checks or withdraw money without him. This diary only covers one year of her life so be sure to read the "Afterword". It explains what happened to Carolina after this book was written. She is an amazing, amazing woman who deserves much admiration. --an Amazon reviewer
Diary: The Childhood
An immediate best seller when it was published in Brazil in 1960, Jesus's Quarto de Despejo, the diary of a woman living in the slums of Sao Paulo, contained unusually vivid descriptions of the lives of the very poor. Its English translation, Child of the Dark (1962), was equally successful, as were translations in several other languages. The success of the book allowed Jesus to move out of the slums and continue writing. Through the efforts of her biographer, Robert M. Levine of the University of Miami (The Life and Death of Carolina Maria de Jesus, Univ. of New Mexico, 1995), some of these writings are finally being translated into English. Bitita's Diary (Jornal de Bitita), the last volume Jesus finished prior to her death in 1977, is a poignant description of her childhood in the Brazilian central interior state of Minas Gerais. It is important for providing a look at Brazil during the 1920s and 1930s through the eyes of an impoverished black child, a view rare in any country at any time. Sometimes simplistic, sometimes profound, this is a valuable volume for any Latin American research collection.--Library Journal