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Childhood of the Dead

Childhood of the Dead by Jose Louzeiro
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Jose Louzeiro's blunt rendering--a legacy of his years as a journalist--brings to the foreground the repetitive nature of Dito's life and obsessions. Louzeiro's rigorous focus on Dito's point of view alone makes the reader trace the decision-making process that gradually leads to Dito's criminalization. Sympathy for Dito is not asked. This is a story without heroes. Even in Dito's most heroic mode—when he begins to carry the banner of revenge for his friend Pixote's death—Dito does not command praise. His courage is that of the desperate. Capable of bravery and of superhuman efforts, he stands either alone or with his street gang members as representative of millions of abandoned kids in Brazil and in the world.

Childhood of the Dead was made into the internationally acclaimed motion picture: Pixote, the Law of the Weakest. It reflects the problem of street children in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Like Dito, they wash windshields at stoplights; they beg at restaurants for food; they peddle chewing gum and Kleenex packets; they pick pockets and snitch things from cars; they steal handbags and prey on tourists, just as they do in major cities in the U.S. from Los Angeles to Miami.

Boson Books offers another novel by Jose Louzeiro, Land of Black Clay.

For an author bio and photo, reviews, and a reading sample, visit
Bitingduck Press; January 1995
173 pages; ISBN 9781886420113
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Title: Childhood of the Dead
Author: Jose Louzeiro
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