Called "hallucinatory and lyrical" (Publishers Weekly), The Return of the Caravels -- selected as a New York times Summer Reading title -- is a powerful indictment of Portuguese colonialism and another literary tour de force from the pen of Antonio Lobo Antunes, "the greatest living Portuguese writer" (Vogue). It is set in Lisbon as Portugal's ...Read MoreCalled "hallucinatory and lyrical" (Publishers Weekly), The Return of the Caravels -- selected as a New York times Summer Reading title -- is a powerful indictment of Portuguese colonialism and another literary tour de force from the pen of Antonio Lobo Antunes, "the greatest living Portuguese writer" (Vogue). It is set in Lisbon as Portugal's African colonies gain their independence in the mid-1970s. In a contemporary response to Camoes's conquest epic The Lusiads, Antunes imagines Vasco da Gama and other heroes of Portuguese explorations beached amid the detritus of the empire's collapse. Or is it the modern colonials -- with their mixed-race heritage and uneasy place in the "fatherland" -- who have somehow ended up in sixteenth-century Lisbon? As da Gama begins winning back ownership of Lisbon piece by piece in crooked card games, four hundred years of Portuguese history mingle -- the caravels dock next to Iraqi oil tankers, and the slave trade rubs shoulders with the duty-free shops. The Return of the Caravels is a startling and uncompromising look at one of Europe's great colonial powers, and how the era of conquest reshaped not just Portugal but the world. ..". the voice of Nabokov by way of Cortazar, Gogol by way of Dylan." -- Jonathan Levi, Los Angeles Times Book Review "Antunes has empathy for the contradictions of human feeling. He is a warm-bloodied writer."-- Michael Pye, The New York Times Book Review "[Antunes] deserves a wide audience of discerning readers." -- Michael Mewshaw, The Washington Post Book WorldRead Less
Cover Art. Very Good in Very Good jacket. Hard Back. 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. X-library with normal flaws. The hard cover and the jacket has very light shelf wear...The book may have minor flaws that may have gone unnoticed..
Publishers Weekly, 2002-02-11 Antunes examines the legacy of the Portuguese conquistadors in his latest novel, a murky, hallucinatory affair in which the author follows half a dozen characters through the breakup of Portugal's colonial dominion in the 1970s while occasionally backtracking to the 16th century to trace the effects of Vasco da Gama's journeys. Da Gama is by far Antunes's most intriguing creation, particularly when the author posits a scenario in which the explorer returns to 20th-century Portugal as the colonies are fading and proceeds to reestablish his power within the country by winning a series of high-stakes poker games. Antunes also delves into the fate of one of da Gama's admirals, Diogo Cao, who tries to raise money for a second voyage to India while engaging in an interlude with an elderly prostitute. None of the secondary figures measure up to the promise offered by those two characters, however, and Antunes fails to follow up on the intriguing plot line with da Gama. What he opts for instead is a lyrical but nonlinear narrative full of long, labyrinthine sentences in which he draws from the tradition of magical realism, using imagery ranging from the grotesque and lurid to the poetically beautiful to frame Portugal's loss of power. Antunes is definitely a writer worth reading for his literary talent and his insights into Portugal's history, geography and national character, but readers must be willing to leave behind any expectations regarding straight-line narrative and coherent plot. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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