Life As It Is: Selected Stories


Life As It Is: Selected Stories
Nelson Rodrigues, translated by Alex Ladd
2009, Host Publications
314 pages, hardback

FOR ten years between 1951 and 1961, residents of Rio de Janeiro opened their newspapers on the way to work and there, below the crossword, read tales of adultery, murder and suicide. The extraordinary column was A Vida Como Ela É (Life As It Is) and was written by Nelson Rodrigues. This is the first English translation of work by a writer still relatively unknown outside his native Brazil yet considered one of the country’s most outstanding literary talents. The 58 stories in this collection have been compiled from more than 2,000 crônicas that comprised his column. They make unnerving forays into the psychological fragility of Rio’s middle class, and the twisted interactions of the recurring archetypes in this author’s oeuvre – betrayed lovers, child molesters, gigolos, murderers – allow the writer to explore the mortal sins at every turn. Crafted with acute insight and brutal humour, these vignettes provide a perfect showcase for this great writer. – GJ

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