cover image Antonio


Beatriz Bracher, trans. from the Portuguese by Adam Morris. New Directions, $15.95 trade paper (212p) ISBN 978-0-8112-2738-4

Brazilian Bracher (I Didn’t Talk) takes a dazzling look at the invisible burdens that haunt a well-to-do family in contemporary Brazil. The novel follows Benjamim, a young man on the cusp of fatherhood, who has recently learned that his mother had the child of his paternal grandfather before his father was born. Though both men are dead, Benjamim feels compelled to reach out to Haroldo, his grandfather’s best friend; Isabel, his grandmother; and Raul, his father’s friend, to learn as much as he can about the roots of the tragedy. Yet each of the people he contacts has different blind spots, and each has their own agenda, too, even as they do their best to help Benjamim piece together the truth. Contradictions abound, facts blur, and yet a cohesive narrative of great loss comes together. Bracher simultaneously pulls off a searing portrait of class in São Paulo—“We weren’t a rich family, but we were a ‘good’ family, and that was what mattered,” Isabel tells Benjamim—and of both hereditary trauma and family tenderness. This spellbinding and surprising work announced Bracher as one of the most fascinating contemporary Brazilian writers. (Mar.)