Out of Earth

Sheyla Smanioto


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UEA Publishing Project
18 July 2023
ISBN: 9781913861131
160 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Laura Garmeson & Sophie Lewis

with an afterword by Tice Cin

‘Full of originality and lyricism … it’s a punch to the stomach, in the best sense. At times dark, at times vibrating with hope in every line.’ Larissa BezerraO Diário de Maringá

‘The situation, the characters and the reality depicted in Out of Earth flow at one remove from the usual run of literature in our times. Her writing shows a rare audacity.’ Rodrigo CasarinSuplemento Pernambuco

This remarkable Brazilian novel has been garlanded with multiple awards and accolades since its initial publication, as Desesterro: the prestigious Sesc Prize for Literature, the Machado de Assis award and the Jabuti award.

"God’s the one with the ideas, people just live through them…"

The story follows four generations of female characters as they navigate the hardships of life in the parched landscape of the Brazilian sertão. Male figures are peripheral, but are also revealed as the origin of much of the suffering in the novel, generating for the women a kind of exile not only in relation to the land but to their sense of self. This is a ground-breaking feminist work, a bracing modernist fable, of sorts, formally reminiscent of Eimear McBride's A Girl Is Half-Formed Thing.

"At the end of the houses, in Vilaboinha at night, how good it feels to smoke a rollie watching the smoke the starry sky to think about life, goddamn, to think about life."