When Emilie, the matriarch of a large and unruly family of Lebanese emigrants, is on her deathbed, her granddaughter must return to Manaus and her childhood home to say goodbye. Here, in the heart of the Amazon, she becomes enveloped in memories, as family and friends gather round to tell their own tales. We hear of how Uncle Hanna first left Lebanon for Brazil early in the twentieth century; of Soraya Angela, the illegitimate deaf-mute child whose short life was blighted by fear and prejudice; of Uncle Emir and his solitary walk that ended at the bottom of the river; of Hakim's wranglings with the Arabic language; of the two unnameable, fiery-tongued brothers; of the German photographer and constant friend Dorner, roaming Manaus with his Hasselblad; and at the centre of it all lies Emilie: loving, interfering, luminous.
Milton Hatoum was born in Manaus, Amazonas, and now lives in Sao Paulo. He is also the author of The Brothers, which is published in Portugal, the US, Holland, France, Germany, Spain and Lebanon, as well as in Brazil and by Bloomsbury in the UK. The Brothers was awarded the Jabuti Prize in 2000.