The two daughters of Afonso Olimpio and Otacilia raised in rural Brazil in the 1960s and educated in teeming Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s form the counterpoint and central theme linking four generations: the pliant, troubled Clarice and the lovely, strong-willed Maria Ines. As other voices join in - those of the men they have married and the ones they have loved; the artist manque Tomas; villagers and childhood friends; Great-Aunt Berenice in Rio; Eduarda, Maria Ines' eighteen-year-old daughter - the cool, white calm of the sisters' universe dissolves in a swirl of dark secrets. The family's silences echo the unspoken atrocities of the military dictatorship holding sway in their country. But after the death of their mother forces Clarice and Maria Ines to face their shared past, an old score is settled. In a dramatic and powerful work of great beauty and harmony, Lisboa reveals the abysses of the human soul within a framework as delicate as a butterfly's flight.
ADRIANA LISBOA, born in Rio de Janeiro, holds degrees in music and literature and has worked as a flautist, Brazilian Jazz singer, and music teacher. The author of nine books, including four novels and a collection of short stories, she was awarded the Jose Saramago Prize in 2003 for Sinfonia em branco. Her books have been published in France, Italy, Sweden, and Mexico, among other countries, and she has translated into Portuguese such authors as Cormac McCarthy and Marilynne Robinson. She divides her time between Rio and Colorado.