PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Winner of PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Translation Prize for 2008.
Winner of The Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for 2008
Carlos is the grandson of Afonso da Maia, the last surviving member of one of Lisbon’s wealthiest and most illustrious families. Carlos is good, handsome, clever, eager to contribute something to society, and yet he appears, as he himself puts it, 'to be one of those weak hearts, soft and flaccid, incapable of preserving any true emotion'. Then, one day, walking along Lisbon's grubby streets he sees a woman who seems to him like a goddess who has just stepped down from the clouds. When he finally meets the beautiful Maria Eduarda, the attraction proves to be as mutual as it is profound. In the plenitude of that love, Carlos seems, in his best friend Ega's words, 'a truly fortunate being', until Fate steps in - in the form of a grizzled, left-wing newspaper hack from Paris - and everything unravels.
One of the great masterpieces from the great age of the novel. A reading pleasure which flows off the page in Margaret Jull Costa's elegant translation.