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The City and the Mountains

Author: Eça de Queiroz

Translator: Margaret Jull Costa   Cover design: Marie Lane  

A classic in its native Portugal,this English translation of Queiroz's posthumous novel tells the story of Jacinto, a 30-something Parisian who makes a tortuous train journey through France and Spain to his homeland only to find all his possessions have disappeared in transit. A story of magic and satire unfolds.

Alex Donohue in The Big Issue

The Portuguese Dickens, Eça de Queíroz (who spent almost 15 years as consul in Newcastle and Bristol), left this last novel behind on his death in 1900. As timely now as then, it follows – with a smart balance of satire, irony and lyric grace – the progress of a rich brat who quits the city to find fulfilment in rural life.
Trustafarian Jacinto grows up in the stifling lap of luxury at 202 Champs-Elysées: an address to die for, and he almost does, smothered by the hi-tech gadgetry of the 1890s. Then, after a summons back to the family estate in Portugal, he leaves Paris for a radical makeover as nature-loving country gent. The narrator's wry tone, well caught in Margaret Jull Costa's translation, captures all the ambivalence of Jacinto's path as the retired decadent turns virtuous squire and grows "positively dull" as a result.

Boyd Tonkin in The Independent

Margaret Jull Costa is an inexhaustibly versatile translator.

Jonathan Keates in The Times Literary Supplement

For a more positive spin on Portugal, try his posthumous romance The City and the Mountains, which is set between Paris (affluent, yet vacuous) and the Douro valley (impoverished, yet enchanting).

Oliver Balch in The Guardian

RRP: £11.99

No. of pages: 238

Publication date: 04.10.2024

Re-print date: 04.10.2024

ISBN numbers:
978 1 915568 58 8
978 1 907650 92 5

World English language in this translation.
US rights sold to New Directions.