Chronicle of the Murdered House (Paperback)

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Winner of the 2017 Best Translated Book Award

"The book itself is strange--part Faulknerian meditation on the perversities, including sexual, of degenerate country folk; part Dostoevskian examination of good and evil and God--but in its strangeness lies its rare power, and in the sincerity and seriousness with which the essential questions are posed lies its greatness."--Benjamin Moser, from the introduction

Long considered one of the most important works of twentieth-century Brazilian literature, Chronicle of the Murdered House is finally available in English.

Set in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, the novel relates the dissolution of a once proud patriarchal family that blames its ruin on the marriage of its youngest son, Valdo, to Nina--a vibrant, unpredictable, and incendiary young woman whose very existence seems to depend on the destruction of the household. This family's downfall, peppered by stories of decadence, adultery, incest, and madness, is related through a variety of narrative devices, including letters, diaries, memoirs, statements, confessions, and accounts penned by the various characters.

Lucio Cardoso (1912-1968) turned away from the social realism fashionable in 1930s Brazil and opened the doors of Brazilian literature to introspective works such as those of Clarice Lispector--his greatest follower and admirer.

Margaret Jull Costa has translated dozens of works from both Spanish and Portuguese, including books by Javier Marias and Jose Saramago. Her translations have received numerous awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2014 she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Robin Patterson was mentored by Margaret Jull Costa, and has translated Our Musseque by Jose Luandino Vieira.


About the Author


Lucio Cardoso (1912-1968) is one of the leading Brazilian writers of the period between 1930 and 1960. As well as authoring dozens of novels and short stories, he was also active as a playwright, poet, journalist, filmmaker, and painter. Within the history of Brazilian literature, his oeuvre pioneered subjective scrutiny of the modern self, bringing to the fore the personal dramas and dilemmas that underlie perceptions of collective existence. He turned away from the social realism fashionable in 1930s Brazil and opened the doors of Brazilian literature into introspective works such as those of Clarice Lispectorhis greatest follower and admirer.

Dame Margaret Jull Costa is one of the most acclaimed translators of modern times. She has translated dozens of works from both Spanish and Portuguese, including the works of Javier Marias, Jose Saramago, Eca de Queiroz, and Fernando Pessoa, among many others. Her translations have received numerous awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize on three occasions, and the Portuguese Translation Prize. In 2014 she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Robin Patterson has participated in both the Birkbeck and the BCLT literary translation summer schools and, in 2013, was mentored by Margaret Jull Costa as part of the BCLT mentorship program. His translation of "Our Musseque" by Jose Luandino Vieira was published by Dedalus Books. Additionally, his translations have appeared in "Ninth Letter," on the Bookanista website, and in "The Football Cronicas."

Benjamin Moser is a writer and critic. His biography of Clarice Lispector, "Why This World," was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award, and he's currently writing a biography of Susan Sontag. He was also a finalist for the 2014 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing."
Product Details
ISBN: 9781940953502
ISBN-10: 1940953502
Publisher: Open Letter Books
Publication Date: December 13th, 2016
Pages: 500
Language: English