A monkey, escaping the destruction of its native rain forest, runs into Veronica Segall's living room as she crushes her hand in the kitchen door a la Saint Veronica. A hat, a social climber manufactured in Peru but with pretenses to Paris, watches disapprovingly from his box. A gun, lying in a drawer unoiled and long forgotten, snaps to attention. And a man, an Englishman, one Henry Baxter, engineer, bridge-builder, and melancholic composer of unsent postcards, discovers Veronica and her voice in a coffee shop as he chews an elephant ear pastry.
As the story unfolds, monkeys mourn, hats remember, guns regret, and Veronica's voice invades Henry's ears. The voice - perhaps the voice of loss, perhaps the voice of God - itself becomes a character, mourning and desiring every bit as much as the characters it possesses.
V is based on a story legendary in the author's family about their mysterious Brazilian relatives and their lives in a postwar Sao Paulo Jewish community. Like most family myths, the story changes every time it is told.
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