Publication Date: 27/06/2023 ISBN: 9781839766404 Category: Tag:

Crooked Plow

Itamar Vieira Junior, Johnny Lorenz

Publisher: Verso Books
Publication Date: 27/06/2023 ISBN: 9781839766404 Category: Tag:
Paperback / Softback


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Mr B's review

The machine of Brazilian industry pushes ever deeper into the country’s hinterlands. The Quilombola, descendants of runaway slaves, are uprooted from their rural communities and must toil on new plantations as indentured servants to survive. This spellbinding saga follows the lives of two sisters and their fight for the right to exist on the land of their ancestors.


Shortlisted for The International Booker Prize 2024

‘I heard our grandmother asking what we were doing.'”Say something!” she demanded, threatening to tear out our tongues. Little did she know that one of us was holding her tongue in her hand.’

Deep in Brazil’s neglected Bahia hinterland, two sisters find an ancient knife beneath their grandmother’s bed and, momentarily mystified by its power, decide to taste its metal. The shuddering violence that follows marks their lives and binds them together forever.

Heralded as a new masterpiece and the most important Brazilian novel of this century, this fascinating and gripping story about the lives of subsistence farmers in the Brazil’s poorest region, three generations after the abolition of slavery in that country is at once fantastic and realist, covering themes of family, spirituality, slavery and its aftermath and political struggle.

Publisher Review

A leading voice among the Black authors who have jolted Brazil’s literary establishment in recent years with imaginative and searing works that have found commercial success and critical acclaim * New York Times * One of the great novels of the year… — Joao Ceu e Silva * Diario de Noticias * A tour de force of injustice, tragedy, affection and human dignity reminiscent of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables or John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Vieira Junior’s book garnered top literary prizes in Portugal and Brazil. Its author has drawn comparisons to Jorge Amado, the giant of Brazilian letters who introduced the magic and plight of Afro-Brazilians to the world. * Americas Quarterly * Beautiful, powerful and moving, he presents us with great literature with a simplicity that torments * Pessoa Magazine * Vieira Junior conveys the girls’ childhood confusion and wonder in hypnotic prose, and he brings the close-knit Agua Negra to life. This heralds the arrival of a welcome voice. * Publishers Weekly * Among the laudable feats Vieira Junior accomplishes in this novel is the way it gradually moves from a highly specific story to one with implications for a region’s entire working class. A stirring, lived-in novel of struggles both personal and societal. — starred review * Kirkus Reviews * Crooked Plow is a powerful novel set among a Black Brazilian farming community living on the edge of existence, whose people are resilient against historical forces and the individuals who oppress them.Each of the novel’s three parts has a different narrator, including Bibiana, Belonisia, and an encantada. These respective narrators lead to rich interiority; the characterizations are deep, and the novel is layered in its rendering of events. The sometimes nonchronological narration goes back in time to reveal people’s secrets, building suspense as it moves toward its unsettling, fitting conclusion. * Foreword Reviews *

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