Eduardo Galeano
Sunday, May 19, 2013, 5:00 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, California

 

reading from

Children Of The Days: A Calendar of Human History

from Nation Books

Unfurling like a medieval book of days, each page of Eduardo Galeano's Children Of The Days: A Calendar of Human History has an illuminating story that takes inspiration from that day of the calendar year. Each entry resurrects the heroes and heroines who have fallen off the historical map, but whose lives remind us of our darkest hours and sweetest victories.

Among many others, you will discover the Brazilians who held a "smooch in" to protest a dictatorship that banned kisses that "undermined public morals" and learn of the day Mexico invaded the United States, the "sacrilegious" women who had the effrontery to marry each other in a church in 1901, and Abdul Kassem Ismael, the grand vizier of Persia, who kept books safe from war by creating a walking library, 117,000 books aboard four hundred camels, forming a mile-long caravan.

Galeano challenges the reader to consider the human condition and our own choices. These vignettes elevate the little known heroes of our world and decry the destruction of treasures (intellectual, linguistic, and emotional) that we have all but forgotten.  Beautifully translated by Galeano's longtime collaborator, Mark Fried, Children Of The Days is a great humanist treasure that shows us how to live and how to remember. It awakens the best in us.

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, Upside Down, The Book of Embraces, Walking Words, We Say No, Voices of Time and Mirrors, among others.  He is the recipient of many international prizes, including the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, the Casa de las Américas Prize, and the First Distinguished Citizen of the region by the countries of Mercosur.  He lives in Montevideo, Uruguay.