The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Mexico

Clara como un fantasma

(Clear as a ghost)

Düben, Alejandro von (text)
Álvarez, Diego (illus.)
México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 2022. – 150 p.
(Series: Hilo de Aracne)
ISBN 978-607-303072-4

Coping with trauma  | Disappearance  | Coming of age

Reading age: 15+

White Ravens issue: 2023


Shortly before her seventeenth birthday, Clara feels as if she is disappearing. Her body seems blurry, nearly transparent. But her mother, her siblings, girl friends and her boyfriend see no changes in her and think she has gone loony. Through the stories and memories of the first-person narrator, a possible explanation for her inexplicable state slowly comes together piece by piece. Clara had witnessed a girl of her own age being kidnapped. Like many others in Mexico, the girl disappeared without a trace. Disappearances play a central part in this novel. When Clara was nine, her father deserted the family abruptly, and her cat, Meme, also disappears under mysterious circumstances. In this award-winning book, Alejandro von Düben skilfully weaves the different threads of the story together in his protagonist, who must cope with a traumatic experience and distressing ruptures. Herself a complex figure, Clara observes her surroundings with a sharp eye and laconic wit. [JW]