Unforgettable letters from Colombia

Books | Recounting hope and persistence despite impoverishment
by Emma Reyes
Posted 10/13/18, 02:25 pm

A remarkable voice and illuminating writing make The Book of Emma Reyes, a gritty 175-page collection of letters, an unforgettable look at growing up impoverished in Colombia. Painter Emma Reyes, who settled eventually in Paris, begins her memoir at age 5 in a one-room, windowless Bogota hovel. Her first chore each day was carrying the household’s brimming bedpan to a garbage heap. Reyes and her sister moved from cycles of neglect to rounds of abuse, including some in a Catholic convent, as recounted in the excerpt below, courtesy of Penguin Books.

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