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Chronicle of the Murdered House
by Lucio Cardoso and Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson and Benjamin Moser


Overview -

Winner of the 2017 Best Translated Book Award

Longlisted for the 2017 National Translation Award

"The book itself is strange--part Faulknerian meditation on the perversities, including sexual, of degenerate country folk; part Dostoevskian examination of good and evil and God--but in its strangeness lies its rare power, and in the sincerity and seriousness with which the essential questions are posed lies its greatness."--Benjamin Moser, from the introduction

Long considered one of the most important works of twentieth-century Brazilian literature, Chronicle of the Murdered House is finally available in English.  Read more...


 
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More About Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lucio Cardoso; Margaret Jull Costa; Robin Patterson; Benjamin Moser
 
 
 
Overview

Winner of the 2017 Best Translated Book Award

Longlisted for the 2017 National Translation Award

"The book itself is strange--part Faulknerian meditation on the perversities, including sexual, of degenerate country folk; part Dostoevskian examination of good and evil and God--but in its strangeness lies its rare power, and in the sincerity and seriousness with which the essential questions are posed lies its greatness."--Benjamin Moser, from the introduction

Long considered one of the most important works of twentieth-century Brazilian literature, Chronicle of the Murdered House is finally available in English.

Set in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, the novel relates the dissolution of a once proud patriarchal family that blames its ruin on the marriage of its youngest son, Valdo, to Nina--a vibrant, unpredictable, and incendiary young woman whose very existence seems to depend on the destruction of the household. This family's downfall, peppered by stories of decadence, adultery, incest, and madness, is related through a variety of narrative devices, including letters, diaries, memoirs, statements, confessions, and accounts penned by the various characters.

Lucio Cardoso (1912-1968) turned away from the social realism fashionable in 1930s Brazil and opened the doors of Brazilian literature to introspective works such as those of Clarice Lispector--his greatest follower and admirer.

Margaret Jull Costa has translated dozens of works from both Spanish and Portuguese, including books by Javier Marias and Jose Saramago. Her translations have received numerous awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2014 she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Robin Patterson was mentored by Margaret Jull Costa, and has translated Our Musseque by Jose Luandino Vieira.



 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781940953502
  • ISBN-10: 1940953502
  • Publisher: Open Letter Books
  • Publish Date: December 2016
  • Page Count: 500
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.55 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-10-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

A gothic classic of Brazilian literature making its English language debut, Cardosos novel is the story of the Menses family, whose desperate existence in a decaying backwater estate is disrupted when youngest son Valdo returns home from Rio with a young bride, the passionate and impulsive Nina. The new mistress of the house becomes a pawn in the simmering rivalry among the Menses brothersValdo, cross-dressing recluse Timoteo, and the icy elder Demetrio, who longs only for his ancestral house to be graced by a visit from the local baronand a subject of gossip for the townspeople, whose letters back and forth form the bulk of the novel. Theres the doctor who examines Valdo after a supposed suicide attempt, maid Betty who is taken into Timoteos confidence, and the priest who receives the confessions of Demetrios jealous wife, Ana, regarding the suspicious death of the Menses gardener. But these concerns are nothing compared to the tragedy that follows Ninas incestuous affair with Andre, her tortured son, who alone cares for her during a long convalescence. A foreword by Benjamin Moser focuses more on Cardosos status as a gay writer and the novels influence on fellow Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector than the novel itself. Perhaps this is because, despite all its intrigues, the book reads today as a bloated melodrama whose considerable ambiance is sapped by the monotony of its story line, punctuated by characters (cadaverous brother, snooping maid) that are little more than monster-movie grotesques. (Dec.)

 
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