In 18 gripping and daring stories filled with tension and intimacy, Caio Fernando Abreu navigates a Brazil transformed by the AIDS epidemic and stifling military dictatorship of the 80s. Tenderly suspended between fear and longing, Abreu’s characters grasp for connection:
A man speckled with Carnival glitter crosses a crowded dance floor and seeks the warmth and beauty of another body.
A budding office friendship between two young men turns into a surprising love, “a strange and secret harmony." One man desires another but fears a clumsy word or gesture might tear their plot to pieces.
After so many precarious offerings--a salvaged cigarette, a knock on the door from withing the downpour of a dream, or a tight-lipped smile--Abreu’s schemes explode and implode. Junkies, failed revolutionaries, poets, and conflicted artists face threats at every turn. But, inwardly ferocious and secretly resilient, they heal. For Caio Fernando Abreu there is beauty on the horizon, mingled with luminous memory and decay. Translated by Bruna Dantas Lobato, currently an Iowa Arts Fellow and MFA candidate in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa.