PEDRA CANGA by Tereza Albues


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Brazilian author Albues’s 1987 novel is a lusty and likable compact chronicle of a “wetlands” village (Pedra Canga) whose inhabitants are oppressed by, and eventually liberated from, the malign influence of the wealthy family who has long exploited them. The unnamed narrator, a fledgling woman writer, gathers fragmentary stories about the “demonic” Vergare clan from a vigorously described townful of larger-than-life eccentrics, including the Vergares’ terrified servant Nivalda (a reputed “witch”), puritanical spinster and hell-raiser Ludovica Hosteater, and the narrator’s own ribald, Zorba-like grandfather (“always fond of parties, guitars, and rum”). An empty house inexplicably changes colors, ghosts and zombies mingle casually with the living, and a cleansing storm ultimately restores order: a wry magical-realist tale that Albues expertly shapes into a colorfully bawdy and exuberant celebration of life.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2001
ISBN: 1-82295-70-9
Page count: 160pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2001


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