Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Childhood half a century ago

Juan Kruz
Igerabide / Elena Odriozola
Modern editions the funnel, 2023


As a child, I was often looking back. 'The eye will come out in the chin,' I threatened the cure, because I looked back at the church. These are the words that initiate this book of Igerabide, a personal and emotional account of childhood, but also social and humorous.

There are very few autobiographies among us, let alone in works for children and young people – that is, I believe, the first or the first – and in that sense, being the book, style, facts, narration… a classic, is innovative.

Juan Kruz was born in Igerabide Aduna in March 1956. And if Joxe Arratibel said in the 1980s that the world changed more in the last 80 years than in the previous two thousand years, Igerabide shows us that it has changed even more since he was born in Aduna until today. In fact, the reader will be able to see how the children live in a small town of Gipuzkoa in the 1960s and 1970s, how they played, how they lived normally the presence of death, how school was and how their friends were and the relationships between children. Igerabide explains in this work the account of a generation, the memory, but also his, Juan Kruzena, the loss of the mother, the hard life of her father, diseases, schooling…

The book is structured in short sections in which the author speaks of a fact or character, of his friends, of the vagabond, of communion, of the sick, of the clothes he likes, that is, of all kinds of memories, curiosities to the reader of the twenty-first century and, perhaps, stories that are incredible to him. All this is in line with the simple illustrations of Elena Odriozola, her tone and style.

An eye on the chin is, therefore, a book of memory that shows us how Euskal Herria was half a century ago, but also a book that awakens in the reader sadness, smile, knowledge and curiosity, as Igerabide takes care of the narrative and, through ingenuity, leads the reader to the dark and clear corners of his childhood, joyful and sad, telling his story but also of a generation.

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