A sparkling tale of duplicity from one of Brazil’s greatest living writers
Maria Bráulia Munhoz thought settling down with a well-off husband in a house of her own would inaugurate a life of freedom and contentment, but she soon discovered married life to be a series of tiresome formalities. And little happened with her husband, a much older judge, once the lights went out. Now the widowed Maria lives alone in her apartment in São Paulo, her only companions the scheming nephew of her deceased husband, Julião, and a loyal maid.
Family Heirlooms is a searingly brilliant novella from one of Brazil’s modern masters and winner of the Jabuti Prize, finally published in English more than two decades after its original Portuguese publication.
Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction, whose works include Termos de Comparação (Comparison of Terms, 1974), which was awarded the literature prize by the São Paulo Association of Art Critics and O Nome do Bispo (The Name of the Bishop, 1985), winner of the Mercedes-Benz Prize in Literature. Family Heirlooms (1990) was awarded Brazil’s highest literary honour, the Jabuti Prize.
‘Saint Zulmira… I declare myself the most faithful devotee of this goddess of literature’ Julián Ana
‘A magnificent accretion of lies… like a more Brazilian, more sly, less tragic Anna Karenina’ Structo Magazine
‘This is a short novel… but its cleverness is never in doubt, and the reader gets drawn into the web… partly because Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares is embracing the big questions of class and capital, of race, gender and sexuality. And yet, to list them like that is to risk misrepresenting her extraordinary skill as a writer. Almost magically, she manages to evoke these vast subjects with such deftness and lightness of language that they barely settle on the page.’ Wasafiri
‘Commands our utmost attention from the very first sentence’ Typographical Era