Norah Lange

Notes from Childhood

A series of luminous, autobiographical vignettes weave the childhood memories of Argentina’s great, rediscovered literary innovator into a tapestry of Proustian brilliance.

Beginning with her family’s departure from Buenos Aires in 1910, Norah Lange’s Notes from Childhood is a glimpse into the author’s sometimes magical, sometimes painful evolution into and beyond her roles as a daughter, watcher, and thinker. These intimate moments serve as windows onto a world of innocent voyeurism and surreal misunderstanding, as Lange’s family learns to live with the eccentric little spy in their midst—and vice versa. Lange recalls her older sister bathing nude in the moonlight, she recalls the death of a horse, she recalls how she cried when she was lifted onto a table and dressed as a boy, and yet how she laughed when climbing onto the roof in men’s clothing to throw bricks.

Through a veneer of comforting domesticity, these “notes” show us childhood at its most elemental: a laboratory of life in which strangeness, joy, terror, and eroticism combine and collide.

Read an Excerpt
Ebook: £6.99

More Info


Print status: Available
Author: Norah Lange
Translator: Charlotte Whittle
Original language: Spanish
Format: Paperback
Publication date: 4 May 2021
ISBN: 9781911508953
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508946
Availability: World English
Number of pages: 160


Catherine Taylor
Irish Times

‘[Lange’s] stark, dreamy and often morbid observations that read like windows into the soul . . . Eccentric and obsessive, Lange reveals herself to be a born surrealist, examining and interpreting situations and people from elliptical angles.’

Pola Oloixarac

‘A muse to the young Jorge Luis Borges and Oliverio Girondo, Norah Lange was herself a profoundly gifted writer, one capable of drawing her readers back in time, plunging you into a lost world of soulful horseback riding on the pampas and bucolic women’s sewing rooms. Her Notes from Childhood is an endearing, mesmerising, unforgettable masterpiece through which we can see anew the private history of women in Latin America. Read Norah and be bewitched.’

César Aira

‘One of the most beautiful and luminous books of childhood memoirs ever written in Latin America, so rich in the genre.’

Marina Yuszczuk

‘The postcards of gender construction in Notes from Childhood are a delight . . . as is her exquisite prose. The fact that Lange has been considered a secondary figure speaks only of the strict hierarchy of themes that regulated, and in my opinion, continues to regulate entry into the canon.’

Silvia Molloy

‘The apparently peaceful realm of childhood where the book was set concealed the fact that the text turned memories of a life into a literary investigation, the setting of childhood into an often disturbing laboratory.’

Praise for People in the Room

‘The first English translation of a 1950 work by the groundbreaking Argentinian author is darkly irresistible . . . Combining painterly qualities with poetic imagery, Lange’s prose is rich in metaphor.’ The Guardian
‘Hallucinatory and unsettling, the prose vibrates like a high-tension wire . . . the brilliance of the language, and the shifting perspectives transform what at first seems banal into something mesmerising and tragic . . . a picture of suffocating isolation and voyeurism, Hitchcock without a murder.’ Lee Langley, The Spectator
‘Intimate and vital . . . this is an exquisite novel, full of light, shadows, and profound revelations.’ Samanta Schweblin