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If a writers’ quarter existed without regard to the bounds of space and time, it would surely be inhabited by the senhores of Gonçalo M. Tavares’s playful imagination, of whom six reside in proximity here: Mr. Calvino, Mr. Valéry, Mr. Juarroz, Mr. Kraus, Mr. Walser, and Mr. Henri.It is not lost on readers of literature and philosophy, of course, that these characters share the names of illustrious authors and thinkers. But their stories demand of the reader no prior knowledge; instead, Tavares employs riddles and word play to enlighten and surprise. Charmingly enhanced by Rachel Caiano’s minimalist drawings, these vignettes reveal the authors’ intellectual universe and personal points of view.
About the Author
Of novelist Gonçalo M. Tavares, professor of epistemology at the University of Lisbon, Nobel laureate José Saramago declared, “Tavares has no right to be writing so well at the age of thirty-five. One feels like punching him”—and later said, "Gonçalo M. Tavares burst onto the Portuguese literary scene armed with an utterly original imagination that broke through all the traditional imaginative boundaries. I’ve predicted that in thirty years’ time, if not before, he will win the Nobel Prize and I’m sure my prediction will come true. My only regret is that I won’t be there to give him a congratulatory hug."
Tavares is the winner of numerous international awards, including the Brazilian Prêmio Portugal Telecom in 2007 for Jerusalém and the 2010 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger for Apprendre à prier à l’ère de la technique (Aprender a Rezar na Era da Técnica / Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique).
Roopanjali Roy has been a Portuguese translator and interpreter for more than twenty years, translating more than seventeen books of literature and history. Since 2004 she has been a lecturer in Hindi and Indian culture at the Universidade Catíólica in Lisbon.
Rachel Caiano is a Portuguese artist and illustrator of fiction, children's literature, book covers, and other publications.
Author Philip Graham is professor in the creative writing program at the Universty of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also teaches in the low-residency MFA program of the Vermont College of Fine Arts.