The terraced houses on Oitis Street: seemingly two façades in perfect harmony. In reality, two strangers joined together in permanent conflict. The first house is cold, suspicious and boring. Then comes a Dionysian, daring, unpredictable abode. It was already like this during Vicenza’s days, the famous singer also renowned for her crazy parties, which gave hell to her neighbors, Zenobio and Carlota. When Vicenza decides to live abroad, it is a relief for both of them, not so much for their children. Damiana, the youngest daughter, is indifferent to the news. Cosme, the rebel son, suffers from the departure of his friend and lover. Cosme used to always find a way to visit Vicenza. It was worth the risk of being discovered by his parents. The house over there was so full of passion, humor, funny stories. So different from his home, where rigor and bitterness suffocated him.
Some months later, the new neighbors arrive. Pedro is a college professor. Ines is a renowned artist. The couple has two teenagers, Amanda and Estevão. Chance or fate, Cosme keeps linked to the house over there. He falls for Amanda unknowingly that the two siblings lead a secret love story. The growing involvement of the three youngsters provoke new conflicts behind those walls, and a dramatic narrative ensues. What’s the worst punishment, the parents’ pain or the children’s fear? Is love enough for a family to survive? A pregnancy will bring in, even more, misery, but Petra’s birth will prove the amazing force of forgiveness.
Publication/Status: by Record (Brazil) in June 2017. [418 pages]
This is the second novel by the author of the hugely successful PALMA’S RICE. Here he tells the fantastic story of Gabriela Garcia Marques, born in 1967, in the midst of a rural communist guerrilla that happened in Brazil in that period. After the death of her parents by the military, Gabriela moves to Rio de Janeiro to live with her grandfather, Gregorio. During a storm, a nice gentleman with a big mustache comes in her dreams to convince her to leave the shack that soon collapses, killing Gregorio.
From there, Gabriela tortuous life involves the difficulties of being brought up by her aunt, a brothel’s owner; challenging teen years; the crush on José Aureliano, a married man who treats her like a prostitute; and the loss of Florentino, her only true love, when she decides to write her memoir. In the background, fantastic Brazilian history in the second half of the 20th century and the always present Gabriel García Márquez, nickname Gabito, who comes to Gabriela in her dreams with precious advice.
Publication/Status: by Record (Brazil) in 2012. English sample chapters.
The first novel to deal with Portuguese immigrating to Brazil in the 20th century, PALMA’S RICE narrates the saga of a family in search of a better future, overcoming many hardships. In the hundred years in which the reader accompanies their lives, brothers and sisters fight and make up. Some marry happily, others part ways. At times their children are cause for worry, at others they provide happiness. Along the story, always there, is the rice thrown at the family’s patriarch and matriarch, José Custódio and Maria Romana, on their wedding day in 1908. This rice is the thread that links the story, like a trail of breadcrumbs scattered in the labyrinth of memory.
A literary debut of scriptwriter and playwright Francisco Azevedo, PALMA’S RICE is a delicate novel with a certain Isabel Allende feel to it, a sentimental plot that reveals nostalgia for a time when families were supposed to be heavens. A success for Record, its original publisher in Brazil.
Publication/Status: by Record (Brazil) in 2008; Espasa Calpa (Spain); La Columna (Catalunia); DTV (Germany); Mondadori (Italy); Cappelen Damm (Norway); Norstedts (Sweden); Porto Editora (Portugal); Autrement (France); Carobna Knjiga (Serbia); Signatuur (Holland) and Atria (USA). Sold to Epsilon Yayinevi (Turkey) and to Illuminatio (Poland). Digital Serbian rights sold to Tea Books.