Such Small Hands: A Psychological and Supernatural Thriller by Andrés Barba
# Such Small Hands: A Chilling Ghost Story of Childhood Trauma - Introduction - Hook the reader with a question: Have you ever wondered what goes on in the minds of children who have experienced a terrible loss? - Provide some background information on the book Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba, a Spanish novella based on a real-life tragedy that occurred in an orphanage in Brazil in the 1960s. - Thesis statement: In this article, I will explore how Barba uses hypnotic, lyrical prose and alternating perspectives to create a haunting and disturbing story of loneliness, violence and desire among a group of orphaned girls. - Body - Paragraph 1: The protagonist Marina and her doll - Topic sentence: Marina is a seven-year-old girl who survives a car accident that kills her parents, leaving her with a scarred chest and a doll that she names after herself. - Explain how Marina's doll becomes her only companion and a source of fascination and envy for the other girls in the orphanage. - Provide some quotes from the book to illustrate Marina's attachment to her doll and the other girls' reactions to it. - Analyze how the doll represents Marina's identity, trauma and isolation, as well as the power dynamics and eroticism that emerge among the children. - Paragraph 2: The night-time game - Topic sentence: As Marina struggles to fit in with the other girls, she invents a game that they play at night, in which they take turns to be her doll and act out her commands. - Explain how the game becomes a ritual of violence, humiliation and pleasure for the girls, who experience both fear and desire for Marina and her doll. - Provide some quotes from the book to show how the game escalates into a frenzy of cruelty and sensuality. - Analyze how the game reflects Marina's need for control and affection, as well as the other girls' confusion and curiosity about their own bodies and emotions. - Paragraph 3: The ghost story element - Topic sentence: Besides being a psychological study of childhood trauma, Such Small Hands is also an effective ghost story that creates a sense of dread and suspense throughout the novella. - Explain how Barba uses elements of horror, such as the dark setting of the orphanage, the eerie presence of a statue of Saint Anne, and the mysterious voice that whispers to Marina at night. - Provide some quotes from the book to demonstrate how Barba builds up the tension and atmosphere of terror in the story. - Analyze how the ghost story aspect enhances the themes of loss, guilt and revenge that underlie the plot. - Conclusion - Restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points of the article. - Explain why Such Small Hands is a compelling and disturbing read that will haunt the reader long after they finish it. - End with a call to action: encourage the reader to check out the book or other works by Andrés Barba. - FAQs - Q: Is Such Small Hands based on a true story? - A: Yes, it is loosely inspired by a real incident that happened in an orphanage in Brazil in 1960, where a group of girls mutilated and killed one of their peers. Barba learned about this case from a documentary film by João Moreira Salles called Santiago (2007). - Q: How long is Such Small Hands? - A: Such Small Hands is a short novella that consists of only 97 pages. It can be read in one sitting or over a few hours. - Q: Who is Andrés Barba? - A: Andrés Barba is a Spanish writer who was born in Madrid in 1975. He has published several novels, short stories, essays and poetry collections. He has won several literary awards, including the Herralde Prize and the Anagrama Prize. He is also a translator and a professor of Spanish literature at Complutense University of Madrid. - Q: What are some other books by Andrés Barba? - A: Some of Barba's other works include The Right Intention (2002), August, October (2010), Rain Over Madrid (2011), Death of a Horse (2014) and A Luminous Republic (2019). Some of his books have been translated into English and other languages. - Q: What are some other books that deal with childhood trauma and horror? - A: Some examples of books that explore similar themes and genres as Such Small Hands are Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan, The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, The Shining by Stephen King and Coraline by Neil Gaiman.
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