"The Splendor of Portugal"'s four narrators are members of a once well-to-do family whose plantation was lost in the Angolan War of Independence; the matriarch of this unhappiest of clans and her three adult children speak in a nightmarish, remorseless gush to give us the details of their grotesque family life. Like a character out of Faulkner's decayed south, the mother clings to the hope that her children will come back, save her from destitution, and restore the family's imagined former glory. The children, for their part, haven't seen each other in years, and in their isolation are tormented by feverish memories of Angola. The vitriol and self-hatred of the characters know no bounds, for they are at once victims and culprits, guilty of atrocities committed in the name of colonialism as well as the cruel humiliations and betrayals of their own kin. Antunes again proves that he is the foremost stylist of his generation, a fearless investigator into the worst excesses of the human animal.
About the Author
Antonio Lobo Antunes was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1942. He began writing as a child, but at his father's wishes, went to medical school instead of pursuing a career in writing. After completing his studies, Antunes was sent to Angola with the Portuguese Army. It was in a military hospital in Angola that Antunes first became interested in many of the subjects of his novels. Antunes lives in Lisbon, where he continues to write and practice psychiatry.
A. G. Porta was born in Barcelona in 1954. He gained prominence in the Spanish literary world when he won the Ambito Literario de Narrativa Prize in 1984 for a novel written with Roberto Bolano. After a silence of over ten years-which Bolano claimed that Porta spent reading and rereading Joyce-he began publishing novels to widespread critical acclaim.