The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Colombia

Cocodrilo con flor rosa

(Crocodile with pink flower)

Siemens, Sandra (text)
Bogotá: Norma, 2019. – 127 p.
(Series: Zona libre. Jóvenes adultos)
ISBN 978-958-00-1235-1
(Parallel ed.: Buenos Aires: Norma, 2019)

Sexual abuse  | Coping with trauma  | Memory

Reading age: 14+

White Ravens issue: 2020


For a long time, a traumatic experience lay buried deep inside seventeen-year-old Teresa. At the age of eight, she was sexually abused by a family friend. Only now, years later, memories begin to stir in her. What was long concealed and suppressed is now brought into the open and articulated. But to recognize and heal mental and emotional injuries is a painful process that is fragmentary and erratic. In her impressive novel, Argentinian author Sandra Siemens uses a fitting literary form to represent Teresa’s memory work and trauma processing. When she speaks of the present, the protagonist uses the first-person voice, and when she speaks of her childhood, she switches to the more distanced third-person voice. The temporal planes alternate in the short chapters, which are sometimes only a page long and gradually snap together like puzzle pieces. But not everything is explained and explicitly portrayed. As a result, speechlessness and repression remain present to the end. [JW]