Ashes of the Amazon

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Bloomsbury, Jan 1, 2008 - Amazon River Region - 278 pages
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Ashes of the Amazonis the story of a long rebellion and the struggle to understand it. The rebel is Mundo, the embittered offshoot of a family split down the middle, whose artistic vocation clashes with his father's plans; the attempt to understand him falls to Lavo, a hard-working orphan who betters himself - if that's the word - under the influence of Mundo's father, a rich businessman with friends in the military. However, the symbolic heart of the book lies not so much in Manaus and the final years of a boom produced by the merciless exploitation of the forest, but further down the great river, in Vila Amazônia, a palatial villa near Parintins, the centre of a jute plantation and Mundo's worst nightmare. In his lifelong struggle to escape from his father's dynastic ambitions, Mundo distances himself as much as possible from this dead-centre of the novel, taking the plot to Rio de Janeiro and the effervescent worlds of Berlin and London in the 1970s. InAshes of the Amazon, Hatoum expands and deepens his fictional world, taking seriously Flaubert's injunction to write 'the moral history of his generation'. This beautiful, mature and bitter novel is the extraordinary result.

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About the author (2008)

Milton Hatoum was born in Manaus, Amazonas, and studied architecture in São Paulo and comparative literature in Paris. He is Professor of Literature at the Federal University of Amazonas and a visiting Professor of Latin American Literature at the University of California. He lives in São Paulo.

John Gledson is Professor Emeritus of Brazilian Studies at the University of Liverpool. He is author of books on Machado de Assis and the twentieth-century poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade. He has translated several works by Brazilian authors, including The Brothersby Milton Hatoum, and is at work on a selection of the stories of Machado de Assis.

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