PLANTATION BOY by Jose Lins do Rego


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This is a one volume publication of three autobiographical novels (1933-1934-1935) by a Brazilian writer who has since become prominent in his country. They deal with his youth on his grandfather's plantation following his father's murder of his mother and there he spends a few untrammeled years. He is miserable when sent away to school, declines into indolence and then a mooning, illicit love for a married cousin. He is finally seen overwhelmed by fear and total failure when he is returned to manage the sugar plantation after his grandfather's death. The story itself seems inconsequential; the first book is chiefly remembrance laced with after-the-fact remarks; the later book about manhood (if that is quite the right word) does strive for some sense of continuity and development. The prose is flat and does not contribute to the vague picture of a slightly decadent existence, particularly in reference to the submerged life of the black and half-breed laborers and the field women exposed to the rampant love-making of the plantation owners. Limited at best.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1966
Publisher: Knopf