Our hero Carlos Maia, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Portugal, is rich, handsome, generous and intelligent: he means to do something for his country, something useful, something that will make his beloved grandfather proud. However, Carlos is also a bit of a dilettante. He drifts along, becoming a doctor and pottering about in his laboratory, but spends more and more time riding his splendid horses or visiting the theater, having affairs or reading novels. His best friend and chief partner in crime, Ega, is likewise engaged in a long summertime of witticisms and pleasure. Carlos however is set on a dead reckoning course with fate—with the love of his life and with a terrible, terrible secret...
Newly translated by the acclaimed translator Margaret Jull Costa (translator of José Saramago's Blindness), New Directions is proud to bring Eça de Queirós' brilliant prose to life for American readers for the first time.
|Publisher:||New Directions Publishing Corporation|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
One of the leading intellectuals of the "Generation of 1870," José Maria de Eça de Queirós
(1845-1900) wrote twenty books, founded literary reviews, and for most of his life also worked as a diplomat, in Havana, London, and Paris.
MARGARET JULL COSTA is a three-time winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation
Prize. For New Directions, she has translated works by Rafael Chirbes, Javier
Marías, Fernando Pessoa, Eça de Queirós, and Enrique Vila-Matas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This family saga by Portugal's greatest 19th-century novelist will tell you everything you needed to know about Portugal in the latter part of the century. Perhaps the intimate details of literary, philosophical, and political currents will be more than a lot of readers need to know, but this is a brilliant portrait of a colonial power on the cusp of decline, as well as a whacking good yearn in the old tradition.
Surprisingly taut for a 600+ page novel, this late 19th century family epic is quite similar to Gustave Flaubert's Sentimental Education and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. In many ways, it is superior in structure, voice, and meanders far less than Flaubert. The story itself is about Carlos, the emerging scion of a wealthy Lisbon aristocratic family. Carlos's father and mother had a dramatic, tumultuous history that predates the book, and it is in this backdrop that Carlos unwittingly jumps into life under the eye of an indulgent grandfather. In part a subtle social critique, the politics and messages do not drown out the succinct prose and wonderful stories. The characters are well developed, although without the color of a Russian novelist. It is thrilling, romantic, driving and tremendously sad saga that leaves one refreshed and touched but not wanting more.