When I Was Five I Killed Myself

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Burton Rembrandt has the sort of perspective on life that is almost impossible for adults to understand: the perspective of an 8-year-old. And to Burt, his parents and teachers seem to be speaking a language he cannot understand. This is Burt's story as written in pencil on the walls of Quiet Room in the Children's Trust Residence Center, where he lands after expressing his ardent feelings for a classmate. It begins:
When I was five I killed myself....
In this rediscovered modern classic from "one of France's best-loved temporary writers" (Time), Howard Buten renders with astounding insight and wry language the tale of a troubled -- or perhaps just perfectly normal -- young boy testing the boundaries of love and life.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743423007 | 
  • July 2001
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

When I was five I killed myself.

I was waiting for Popeye who comes after the News. He has large wrists for a person and he is strong to the finish. But the News wouldn't end.

My dad was watching it. I had my hands over my ears because I am afraid of the News. I don't enjoy it as television. It has Russians on who will bury us. It has the President of the United States who is bald. It has highlights from this year's fabulous Autorama where I have been once, it was quite enjoyable as an activity.

A man came on the News. He had something in his hand, a doll, and he held it up. (You could see it wasn't real... see more

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