Sunday, 22 May 2011

Lewis, Oscar "Children of Sánchez"

Lewis, Oscar "Children of Sánchez: Autobiography of a Mexican Family" - 1961

As so often with our book club readings, this was suggested by one of our members who knew a little more about the background than we did, a member who grew up in Mexcio herself.

This is not a novel but an anthropological documentary about a family from a slum in Mexico City, a father and his four children who grow up in poverty. An interesting study that tells you so much about the way a lot of people have to live - and not just in Mexico.

As I always like books that teach me something, I did like this one a lot.

We discussed this in our book club in June 2005.

From the back cover:
"A pioneering work from a visionary anthropologist, The Children of Sánchez is hailed around the world as a watershed achievement in the study of poverty a uniquely intimate investigation, as poignant today as when it was first published.

It is the epic story of the Sánchez family, told entirely by its members Jesús, the 50-year-old patriarch, and his four adult children as their lives unfold in the México City slum they call home. Weaving together their extraordinary personal narratives, Oscar Lewis creates a sympathetic but ultimately tragic portrait that is at once harrowing and humane, mystifying and moving.

An invaluable document, full of verve and pathos,
The Children of Sánchez reads like the best of fiction, with the added impact that it is all, undeniably, true."

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