From Fernanda Torres, the celebrated Brazilian actress and bestselling author of The End, comes a riotous tragicomedy of a famed actor’s path from national sex symbol to cult icon to raving madman after a disastrous performance as King Lear.
Mario Cardoso’s meteoric rise to fame begins in the early sixties, when the promise of sex and revolution permeates the Rio air. But as he conquers the stage, arthouse cinema, and primetime TV, the fever and the decadence of stardom take their toll, and middle-aged Mario finds himself with an ebbing reputation, hairline, and bank account. He needs a royal comeback.
Enter King Lear. Mario’s turn as Shakespeare’s mad monarch goes well until he’s overtaken by a fit of laughter that gets more demented with each performance. Forced to cancel the show, he’s confronted with his mother’s unstaged madness—she’s now convinced that Mario is in fact her long-departed husband. Broke and desperate, Mario signs on for an evangelical network production: Sodoma. Yet, as low as he’s fallen, Mario’s final set is one he never imagined.
With the wicked humor and fleet-footed pace that made her novel The End a runaway bestseller in Brazil, Fernanda Torres’s Glory and its Litany of Horrors is a razor-sharp take on the uneasy marriage of Art and the marketplace, and on the profession of acting in all its horror and glory.
About the Author:
Fernanda Torres was born in 1965 in Rio de Janeiro. The daughter of actors, she was raised backstage. Fernanda has built a successful career as an actress and has dedicated herself equally to film, theater, and TV since she was 13 years old. She writes and collaborates on film scripts and adaptations for theater and is also a newspapers and magazine columnist. Her debut novel, The End, sold more than 200,000 copies in Brazil and was translated for publication in several countries including France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary, and the United States. Glory and its Litany of Horrors is her second novel.
About the Translator:
Eric M. B. Becker is a writer, literary translator, and editor of Words without Borders. He is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Commission, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. In 2014, he earned a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for his translation of a collection of short stories from the Portuguese by Neustadt Prize for International Literature winner and 2015 Man Booker International Finalist Mia Couto (due out in early 2019 from Biblioasis). He has also published translations of numerous writers from Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa, including, Noemi Jaffe, Elvira Vigna, Paulo Scott, Martha Batalha, Paulo Coelho, and Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Current book projects include work by Djaimila Pereira de Almeida, Alice Sant’Anna, Fernanda Torres, and Lygia Fagundes Telles (NEA Fellowship 2019), among others. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Literary Hub, Freeman’s, and Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, among other publications. He has served on the juries of the ALTA National Translation Award and the PEN Translation Prize.
Brazilian actress Torres follows the frenetic collapse of an actor's career and his masculine bluster with piercing humor in her latest (after The End). Fading middle-aged soap opera star Mario Cardoso attempts to revive his gravity by playing King Lear. Shortly into the show's run in S o Paulo, he succumbs to uncontrollable laughter. As the already absurd production implodes, Mario receives a call that his mother, Maria Am lia, is in the hospital. He rushes home to Rio, where his addled mother confuses him for her deceased husband. Mario scrambles to find her care and reminisces about his career with a casual tone that only partially conceals the real pain of his failures, including joining a quixotic troop trying to raise peasant political consciousness and his disastrous romance with a co-star who took her method acting too far. Mario's need for money (and implication in a bribery scandal) pushes him to accept two deeply embarrassing roles that culminate in an alarming twist. Torres's zippy momentum still leaves space for an emotional coda, and she has an impressive knack for showing Mario's vulnerability. This resonant story of an actor's accelerating decline will charm readers who enjoy madcap farce.