Cover image for Close-up
Dudevszky, Szabinka, 1964-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Close-up. English
Publication Information:
Asheville, N.C. : Front Street/Lemniscaat, [1999]

Physical Description:
125 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Fifteen self-portraits of young people in the Netherlands who for various reasons cannot live with their parents, including those who have been physically or emotionally abused, those who have run away, and those in foster homes.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV887.N4 D8313 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Fifteen teenagers speak candidly about living separated from their families. and give moving self-portraits as they talk about their lives. These are intimate stories about trust and betrayal, friendship and grief, fear, resistance and courage. The young people represent all children who find themselves at the edges of society. Photographs by Pieter Kers underscore the poignancy of each story. "My mother couldn't take it anymore. When I was three, she dropped me at my father's. He said, 'I'll take care of little Joey.' But he had no time. . . . I ended up in a children's home. That's when my parents lost me." I spent four years in that children's home. It sucked. I always played by myself. . . . When I was seven, I got foster parents. The administration said to me, 'Here is a mother for you, and a father.' Well, I didn't even know what that was, a father and a mother."-- from the book

Author Notes

Szabinka Dudevszky writes scripts for documentary films and theater productions. Pieter Kers studied photography in the Hague and works for the Dutch publishing company Lemniscaat. Both live in the Netherlands. Wanda Boeke is a professional translator who has worked with writers and filmmakers in Europe. She lives in Iowa City, IA.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

First published in the Netherlands, this attractively designed but disappointing book began as a series of interviews Dudevszky conducted for an educational film about teenagers who can no longer live with their parents. Impressed by the hope, pride and sheer determination of the teens she met, she chose 18 young adults, then shaped their words into brief first-person accounts. Manuela's father's strictness turned into physical abuse after he was injured on the job. Leyla fled Iran with her parents' blessing to evade a powerful man determined to marry her. Marco's family was split up, apparently by governmental authorities, when Marco was six, after the discovery that his father had sexually abused his sisters. Sietse, born in Sri Lanka and adopted by a Dutch couple, has been sent to a youth home, presumably for fighting (here as elsewhere, much is left unexplained). Each chapter is broken into sections, about two per page, with headers that emphasize the given teen's feelings ("Older and Quieter," "Terribly Lonely"). This technique, along with the brevity of the entries, affords only the barest glimpse into the subjects' lives and minds, often raising unanswered questions and making for frustrating reading. The style and tone of the profiles are also quite similar, despite vastly differing subjects; this sameness is slightly mitigated by Kers's artful black-and-white photographs, generally two to an entry. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-Self-portraits of 15 teenagers from the Netherlands who left home for various reasons to live in foster or group homes, reform school, boarding or transitional homes, alone, or with friends. These young people come primarily from economically depressed families; many were emotionally or physically abused. Based on extensive interviews with the teens, the first-person narratives relate their difficult stories. Black-and-white photos occasionally hide the faces, which provides some measure of anonymity. Some entries are powerfully written and brutally honest; others provide only a small glimpse of the teens' turbulent lives. While many of the stories are depressing, some of the young people do emerge from their experiences stronger, with more self-worth. Pair this with Al Desetta's The Heart Knows Something Different: Teenage Voices from the Foster Care System (Persea, 1996), Jennifer Toth's Orphans of the Living (S & S, 1997), and Gail B. Stewart's Teen Runaways (Lucent, 1996). An above-average treatment of a heavy-duty topic, important for both public and school libraries.-Jana R. Fine, Clearwater Public Library System, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.