The Splendor of Portugal

António Lobo Antunes


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Dalkey Archive Press
3 November 2011
ISBN: 9781564784230
535 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Rhett McNeil

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.

In this brutal dissection of guilt, victimhood, self-hatred, betrayal, and atrocities both political and domestic, Antunes proves once more that he is the foremost stylist of his generation, a fearless investigator of the worst excesses of the human animal.