Writer, translator, and actor. Presenter of dramatic monologues at libraries, universities, and cultural centers. Winner of the Hans Christian Andersen award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial award, Brazilian author Lygia Bojunga Nunes has written several children's books that have been translated into a variety of languages. Though her work is known in many countries, only two of her works have been translated into English: The Companions, originally published in and translated to English in , and My Friend the Painter, published in and followed by an English translation in
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Writer, translator, and actor. Presenter of dramatic monologues at libraries, universities, and cultural centers. Winner of the Hans Christian Andersen award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial award, Brazilian author Lygia Bojunga Nunes has written several children's books that have been translated into a variety of languages. Though her work is known in many countries, only two of her works have been translated into English: The Companions, originally published in and translated to English in , and My Friend the Painter, published in and followed by an English translation in Though Nunes's titles are usually directed to children, they are noted for containing social commentary.
The author is a critic of the Brazilian school system; in fact, Nunes was concerned enough about illiteracy that she co-founded a school for rural children to help them better their education.
Her titles have also focused on topics such as women's rights, poverty, and the desire for freedom and democracy. When Nunes began writing, her country's government was in turmoil; from until , there were no democratic elections held in Brazil, and in that time, there were military coups and dictators running the country. Nunes turned to children's books for her social commentary because, as she explained, "Generals don't read children's books. On the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Web site, a biographer noted that Nunes "constantly offsets the serious with playfulness and absurd humor.
Nunes's work is also noted for its use of magical realism. Like many Brazilian writers, she does not establish a boundary between the fantastic and the realistic. And fighting cocks may have their brains sewed together so they can only think of fighting, which also occurs in A bolsa amarela.
Nunes also uses symbolism that nearly crosses the boundaries into the fantastic: young Maria walks a tight-rope in Corda bamba, opening the doors she encounters and opens up memories she has blocked, while Alexander of A casa de madrinha seeks for his imaginary godmother's house through many adventures, hoping to find someplace where he can be safe. Os colegas, or The Companions, was Nunes's first novel. In the book, a young rabbit is abandoned by his family and left to fend for himself. He befriends a bear who has escaped from the zoo and a pampered dog who ran away from home to be free.
When the rabbit's two friends are captured, the frightened rabbit rescues the dog, who joins him to rescue the bear. On the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Web site, Mats Berggren stated that Nunes presents "a wide-ranging view of the contrasts between oppression and freedom" at a level that young readers can understand. O meu amigo pintor, or My Friend the Painter, is aimed at older elementary and middle-grade readers.
In the book young Claudio must cope with the suicide of his adult friend, a painter who encouraged the boy's interest in art. The story is told in a realistic fashion, though Claudio's dreams are an important part of the grieving process. Berggren commented that Claudio comes to understand that he "needs to think of [the painter] … in his entirety, with all the details," in order to begin to comprehend his questions about the painter's death.
According to some critics, Nunes's treatment of her subject is emotionally intense, while other reviewers found My Friend the Painter too abstract and subtle for young readers. A Kirkus Reviews critic praised the book as "a rich, poetic glimpse of universal feelings filtered through an unfamiliar culture," while in Publishers Weekly a reviewer described the writing as exhibiting "remarkable, sustained intensity. The main characters—a pig, a stork, an elephant, and a crocodile—put on a play to show how people in power are able to make lies become popular thought.
Throughout the course of the play, these characters defy the stereotypes other animals have against them and learn that by working together they can improve their own lives. In other books the author uses short-story and episodic forms, such as in Tchau and Seis vezes Lucas. In the latter, Nunes illuminates six moments in Lucas's life, showing his fears of not living up to his father's expectations. In both Tchau and Seis vezes Lucas the author confronts the issue of marital infidelity through the eyes of a child hurt by the occurrence.
Retratos de Carolina, like Seis vezes Lucas, focuses on moments in Carolina's life, from the time she is six years old until she is aged twenty-nine, at which point she encounters Nunes and asks the author to write her a happy ending. Nunes once told Something about the Author: "Since I was seven I began reading stories, and right from the beginning I fell in love with books.
But it was a love of reading, not doing. My affair took me by surprise because it was so overwhelming, so much a part of me, that before I realized what was happening, I'd been taken over entirely by literature. Born , in Pelotas, Brazil; married. Career Writer, translator, and actor.
Lygia Bojunga Nunes (1932-) Biography
She is one of three people to win the two major international awards: for "lasting contribution to children's literature", she received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in A major element of her books is the usage of the child's point of view. Lygia Bojunga is part of the tradition of magical realism and fantasy-filled storytelling of South America. In her word-of-mouth style narratives, characterised by a strongly dramatic presence, anything can happen.
Lygia Bojunga Nunes
Bolsa Amarela by Lygia Bojunga
A Bolsa Amarela