Under the Sour Sun
by Elmer Hernan Rodriguez Campos
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Translated by: Tim Honchel
Elmer offers a peek into a childhood shared by thousands of children born in Central America: marked by hunger, discrimination, and war. A fantastic storyteller, he recounts his own memories of the place he calls “the Scab”, a municipal dump at the edge of San Salvador, and his home for his first twelve years of life, from 1969-1981.
He and his older brothers find ways to defy their daily hunger and strife with creativity, humor, and great resilience. Elmer works to understand his generational poverty and the internal and external forces that keep his family downtrodden. As if these troubles were not enough, dead bodies begin to appear in the dump and Elmer’s family must struggle to survive a brutal civil war.
Readers begin to see life through the eyes of a starving child who is trying to find his place in a world that always seems to be against him. Elmer’s description of real hunger and poverty offers incredible insights to those of us who take our basic needs for granted. His challenging observations are intertwined with the innocence of a child who dreams of a different world.