A song I don’t know

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Micaela Chirif and Juan Palomino
Mexico City, Fondo de Cultura Económica (Economic Culture Fund), 2020
ISBN: 9786071659071

♦ Nominated to the IBBY Honor List

Sometimes a friend who has been dead for years calls me on the phone. With this verse starts a poem turned into an illustrated album book. Always in first person, the narration shows us a moment of encounter between two people who love each other, but have been separated by death. The meeting is possible, surprisingly, thanks to an impossible phone call that lasts an entire afternoon and during which the protagonists —she from the side of life and he from the non-place of death— share, once again, the warm intimacy of everyday domesticity.

A song I don’t know is a book that delicately explores loss and the vital affections that tenaciously survive it.


“Can you carry a book as an amulet? I had never thought about it before, but since this book came into my hands, I have not wanted to let it go… I keep it close to me even when I sleep, and, if I could, I would hang it around my neck, like a magical object to transmute pain.”
Paula Herrera. Una Tribu Librería (One Tribe Bookstore).

“Micaela is faithful to her premise (to let a dead friend call you), she develops it without hesitation, she confirms it in each verse, she does not give up even after hanging up, that is why her poem is so overwhelming and beautiful to read: because she gives us all that true and impossible call.”
Adolfo Córdova

A song I don´t know. Interview

The remembrance prevails. Interview

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