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Frida's Bed

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  607 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
A beautifully imagined story of the last days of Frida Kahlo's life A few days before Frida Kahlo's death in 1954, she wrote in her diary, "I hope the exit is joyful-and I hope never to return." Diagnosed with polio at the age of six and plagued by illness and injury throughout her life, Kahlo's chronic pain was a recurrent theme in her extraordinary art. In Frida's Bed, S ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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Thurston Hunger
Having already seen Julie Taymor/Salma Hayek's fantastic "Frida" and watched two bio-documentaries, read a children's book and seen two exhibits on Frida, for me this didn't add much to my appreciation of Kahlo.

At times it felt like a well-written thesis mixed with italicized impressionistic reviews of Kahlo's paintings. Mingling pain with paint in Drakulic's palette does not feel new. Meanwhile the vexsome insertion of man into a woman's life felt like a bit of a distraction or undermining of t
...more
Natalie
May 13, 2014 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Unatoč mnogobrojnim operacijama i stalnim bolovima meksička slikarica živi intenzivan i ispunjen život. U kontaktu je sa značajnim ljudima svoga vremena, a njezine slike postaju ikone 20. stoljeća. U dobi od 47 godina osjeća da će uskoro umrijeti. Ali ne prepušta se sudbini.

Frida Diegu: (citat)

„Oprosti mi, dragi moj, bila sam gruba prema tebi. Nepotrebno gruba i ogorčena. Ne želim takva otići, ali nemam više vremena ni za što drugo osim da te zamolim za oprost. Pogriješila sam u očekivanjima. O
...more
Sandra Bašić
Mar 22, 2016 Sandra Bašić rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
„Nije istina da čovjek nešto osjeća kad doživi nesreću. Nema ni osjećaja ni misli. Postojiš i ne postojiš istodobno, poput čestica prašine koje se kovitlaju u zraku. Vidiš nebesko plavetnilo, i kao da si i sama dio zraka, vode, zelenila u obližnjem parku. Lebdiš u tišini u kojoj ne čuješ ni otkucaje svoga srca. Nije li to iskustvo ništavila?“

Vjerujem da mnogi od vas znaju priču o meksičkoj slikarici Fridi Kahlo, neki ste pogledali i film sa Salmom Hayek a velika većina vas je i pročitala ovu knj
...more
Emily Goenner
Amazing entry into Kahlo's psyche. An exploration of pain and love and art that brought me new understanding of Kahlo's art (I looked up paintings on google images as Drakulic described them). Drakulic has long been one of my favorite authors and this slim work again showed her amazing skill.
Nicki
Dec 13, 2014 Nicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those seeking an inspiration, artists,
Powerful book. I didn't know much about Frida Kahlo before reading this, my only exposure had been the the Salma Hayek movie years ago. I had always viewed Kahlo's paintings as macabre and surrealist and really received an eye-opener upon reading this book to see how deeply personal and intimate her work was to her life. The story begins at early childhood and tells the story of Frida's Kahlo's life, how she was stricken with polio, and how this set the stage for her learning to deal with a life ...more
Cheryl
Jan 02, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this short book in just about an hour or so. I am semi-interested in Frida Kahlo's life, mainly because I enjoy reading about the lives of famous (or even not-so-famous) people and finding out who they are under the surface. It's interesting to me to read about people's accomplishments and learn what makes them tick. I do not particularly care for her artwork--there is nothing wrong with it--it's just not my personal style. I also found this book to be not my style. It was written in both ...more
Zina
Jan 02, 2012 Zina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's astonishing how much Slavenka Drakulic gets into a very short book. In a sense this is a biography of pain, told through the largely third person viewpoint of a dying Frida Kahlo looking back over her life. From childhood polio, through the dreadful consequences of a traffic accident Frida's body assaulted her most of the days of her life. Without her permanent pain she would not have become an artist, chronicling suffering in her pictures; nor would she have met, and married, the Maestro - ...more
Stephanie
Nov 15, 2010 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
As a Spanish teacher, I have studied Frida Kahlo's life and paintings off and on for several years; she paints with an honest brutality not demonstrated by many artists. (As I tell my students, I like learning about the emotion and story behind her raw artwork, but wouldn't want to hang them in my home! They're just a little too much for say, the living room.) I find her life fascinating, so I enjoyed this unique, if not peculiar approach to what makes Frida, Frida.

That being said, the writing
...more
Margaret
Feb 24, 2016 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A enjoy books about artists I admire but, more than Frida Kahlos work, I admire her strength when life just kept throwing pain at her.

This book is an intimate portrait of the women behind the painter. In 1954, after the amputation of her leg, Frida lies in bed, all energy slowly dripping from her body, and recalls the important moments of her existence. Her battle with polio as a child, the tram accident which left her scarred for life, her obsession and turbulent relationship with Diego Rivera,
...more
Serena
Aug 20, 2012 Serena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ova knjiga mi je poput osobnog almanaha. Preporuka svima koji su ikad imali zdravstvenih problema. Slavenka Drakulić je za mene bila pravo otkriće, Frida nadahnuće a ova mala knjiga je uvijek na polici blizu mog uzglavlja.
Jill
May 09, 2009 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great book about pain... I plan to re read it with a highlighter and page markers for all the wisdom in these pages~
Nandini Pradeep J
Read this long back as a teenager and it left a Frida-shaped mark on my heart, eternally.
Amanda L
May 01, 2015 Amanda L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who want a better grasp on the inner life of FK
Even if you are familiar with the life of Frida Kahlo (i.e., her bio), you still are quite likely out of touch with her inner life as researched and profoundly painted for us by Drakulić.

She forays into the mind of Frida and the depth of physical and emotional pain that simply cannot be divorced from who she is or from the observer's ability to fully appreciate the art she prolifically created, often from a near-paralyzed, horizontal and bed-bound physical state. She explores the subject both as
...more
El
Feb 18, 2009 El rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
I actually finished this book days ago; however, as I have been mainly doing my Internet at work (and not very completely obviously), it slipped my mind that I never reviewed it.

I heart Slavenka. She won my heart completely with Taste of a Man and I have several nonfiction books/essays for me to get cracking on. I think I cheered at the library when I saw this book, published in 2008.

The book itself (author-raving aside...) was a good read. Not as good as Taste of a Man, but good nonetheless. It
...more
Hazel
This book was delightfully unique and drew me in immediately.

I'm interested in the idea that novels build empathy in readers. This building of readers' compassion is where I found much of the value in this novel. The book chronicles Frida's chronic pain and relationships near the end of her life, and examines Frida's extreme vulnerability and strength through that period. Drakulic suggests that the mask of strength Frida wore was because if she didn't, people's pity would quickly run dry. As a
...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Grazioso e inatteso dono, questo romanzo breve, a firma di Slavenka Drakulić, giornalista e scrittrice croata. Il racconto è quello di una vita famosa, difficile ed estrosa: la vita di Frida Kahlo. Narrato dall’infanzia beata al momento dell’inizio della malattia, fino all’incidente terribile che la colpisce e la lascia devastata e piena di dolori lancinanti, che la perseguiteranno per tutta la vita. Intorno a lei si muovono le figure dei genitori; delle sorelle, in particolare Cristina, che le ...more
Lupita Reads
The beginning of this book paralleled the movie Frida, so much that I was beginning to think it was the movie script.

As I continued to read I was pleasantly surprised, yet slightly perplexed. I had to continue to remind myself this book is fiction, that the ideas and thoughts relayed in the book are based on the authors opinion of what and who Frida was. The author did an excellent job of weaving in Frida's paintings and matching them with major life events, making the read truly contemplate Fr
...more
Andrea
Dec 26, 2008 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Frida's Bed is a strange tale strangely written. Of course Slavenka Drakulić isn't entirely to blame, it IS Frida Khalo's life it chronicles, afterall.

Admittedly I'm not generally a fan of historical fiction because you just can't tell where the history leaves off and the fiction begins. But Drakulić's biography-slash-novel is even more egregious as she indiscriminately switches from first person to third and back again. The effect is, fittingly, surrealistic.

And this surrealist literary style
...more
Monica Casper
I love all things Frida, and picked this up as a narrative of disability and art. It is that, and much more, including a fictional look inside Kahlo's passion to paint. Drakulic's depiction of the intense, chronic pain in Frida's life is compelling; as a reader, you really do get the sense of a woman who was so locked into her body in particular ways that forged a particular artistic and womanly subjectivity. Yet the movement between Friday in first-person and a third-person narrator wore on me ...more
Corinna
Dal suo letto e in punto di morte Frida ricorda tutta la sua vita (l'autrice segue l'ipotesi di una morte per overdose volontaria e non a causa di un' embolia polmonare, la causa di morte ufficiale).
Il racconto non è quasi mai lineare, si salta da un ricordo all'altro e più volte mi sono persa. Se l'autrice voleva rendere lo stato confusionario di Frida che precedeva la sua morte è stata una scelta giusta, ma in generale il racconto mi è sembrato troppo confusionario e tratti anche ripetitivo.
T
...more
Christina
Nov 11, 2008 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book_club
We read this for Book Club for "Hispanic Month" or something, and it was an intense little novel about Frida Khalo. Rather than give a sweeping biography, the book focused all on the intense physical paid that the artist lived with her entire life and how it affected/inspired her painting. I knew very little about Khalo, and this was a great introduction to her life. It only mentioned her paintings in passing when one was created from a certain incident in her life, but having no pictoral refere ...more
Gretchen
Jul 25, 2011 Gretchen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short novel set in the interiority of Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist. Most, if not all, of the facts are true – her childhood polio, the streetcar accident that left her damaged and in pain for life, her art, her marriage to the artist Diego Rivera, her love affair with Trotsky. The fiction, though, is the recounting of her inmost thoughts. The story is told with a 3rd person narrator and a first person narrator. The 3rd person narrator is omniscient, having access to other people’s min ...more
Fuschia
Sep 02, 2008 Fuschia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kimber
Recommended to Fuschia by: B&N browsing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ilaria Amoruso
Sep 09, 2016 Ilaria Amoruso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uno splendido modo per ripercorrere la vita di Frida.
Sarah Schantz
Feb 26, 2013 Sarah Schantz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's always difficult to "judge" a work of translation because you have no idea what you are missing. I think it's interesting that FRIDA'S BED was translated into English from Croation. Anyway, putting that aside, I feel like Drakulic captured Frida's essence. Her collage-style composition of drifting from third-person to first-person to art critic was neither confusing or distracting but appropriate and effective. You can tell she's done her research on Frida, but that she's also projected her ...more
Tanja
Dec 09, 2008 Tanja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. As usually, Slavenka combines her journalistic skills with good writing. The content provides a reader with more detailed personal life of famous painter Frida Khalo and her pain (strange construction of the words: pain/painter): physical one (in 47 years of her life, she had 32 operations) and emotional one (a marriage with another famous Maxican painter Riviera). However, I think the message of the writer is more global. It overcomes the personal story of Frida and co ...more
Kim Johnson
Nov 24, 2008 Kim Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the writing, the ideas, and the presentation of the book. The author seamlessly switched from first to third person and back again. The insights into Kahlo's paintings were helped to explain why some of her paintings are so disturbing yet have a 'universal' appeal.

The fact that it is fiction gives the author license to interpret -push back or pull forward or twist-facts to fit her desires for Frida (she was a Stalinist only for Diego's sake...?)rather than report the facts to the extent
...more
Carol
The author takes us on a chronological tour of Frida kahlo's incredible life with all of its tragedies and triumphs. The translation is straight-forward and rather flat as reading material. But, the format does highlight how Frida's changing emotions are reflected in her work. Unfortunately, there are far too few photographs, and the reader must try to envision many, if not most, of the pieces mentioned via the author's written description. I found myself going on-line repeatedly in order to ful ...more
Suzanne Skelly
An interesting book written about the life of artist Frida Kahlo. Frida was a woman who dealth with chronic pain- diagnosed with Polio as a young child and palgued with illness and injury throughout her life.

A strong willed woman who battles her personal demons with her art. She marries a master artist who is the love of her life. They have an unusual relationship. He strays easily to other women, but in public she is the love of his life. Each of them fulfills different needs by staying within
...more
Gwen
This was a very quick read. Frida's Bed is written in a mix between first and third person, which made it a little more difficult to go with the reading flow. S. Drakulie writes a historical fiction so seemingly honest that is hard to determine where the history ends and the fiction begins. I enjoyed the descriptions of Frida's painting in between the story of what was happening in her life and thus effecting her artwork. As I read this, I could not help but envision Selma Hyack (sp?) as Frida i ...more
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Slavenka Drakulić (1949) is a noted Croatian writer and publicist, whose books have been translated into many languages.

In her fiction Drakulić has touched on a variety of topics, such as dealing with illness and fear of death in Holograms of fear; the destructive power of sexual desire in Marble skin; an unconventional relationship in The taste of a man; cruelty of war and rape victims in S. A N
...more
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“Svatko je dužan napraviti najbolje što može od onoga što ga je zapalo, jer smisao života je upravo življenje samo. Postojati, usprkos svemu. Osjećati, gledati, sudjelovati. Veseliti se. Nije na dana druga šansa, drugi život.” 1 likes
“The principal difference between her "seductive" and her other self-portraits was the absence of self-awareness in the former and its strong presence in the latter. With time, she became brutally direct. In her later self-portraits she was no longer beautiful, merely odd-looking. She did not seduce, she simply drew attention to herself. Her face became hard, serious. The pronounced cheekbones and heavy eyebrows looks as if they had been carved out of stone. The stern black eyes looked either straight through or straight past the viewer. She deliberately exaggerated the brutality of her self-portraits. She was saying: Look at me, I'm alive and it hurts. These self-portraits were like attestations to her existence: one, two, three, four...Exhibitionism, they said. But for her, painting self-portraits was a kind of magical rite, a kind of exorcism.” 0 likes
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