with an afterword by Tice Cin
‘Full of originality and lyricism … it’s a punch to the stomach, in the best sense. At times dark, at times vibrating with hope in every line.’ Larissa Bezerra, O Diário de Maringá
‘The situation, the characters and the reality depicted in Out of Earth flow at one remove from the usual run of literature in our times. Her writing shows a rare audacity.’ Rodrigo Casarin, Suplemento Pernambuco
This remarkable Brazilian novel has been garlanded with multiple awards and accolades since its initial publication, as Desesterro: the prestigious Sesc Prize for Literature, the Machado de Assis award and the Jabuti award.
"God’s the one with the ideas, people just live through them…"
The story follows four generations of female characters as they navigate the hardships of life in the parched landscape of the Brazilian sertão. Male figures are peripheral, but are also revealed as the origin of much of the suffering in the novel, generating for the women a kind of exile not only in relation to the land but to their sense of self. This is a ground-breaking feminist work, a bracing modernist fable, of sorts, formally reminiscent of Eimear McBride's A Girl Is Half-Formed Thing.
"At the end of the houses, in Vilaboinha at night, how good it feels to smoke a rollie watching the smoke the starry sky to think about life, goddamn, to think about life."
About the author and translators:
Sheyla Smanioto was born in 1990 into a working-class family in Diadema, São Paulo state, which was then the most violent town in Brazil. In 2017 she was selected by Forbes magazine as one of the people under 30 making a difference in Brazil. With her two published novels, Desesterro (2015, appearing here in English as Out of Earth) and Meu corpo ainda quente (2020), she won the SESC, Biblioteca Nacional and Jabutí prizes, as well as being shortlisted for the São Paulo literature prize. She has twice received grants from Itaú Cultural fund to assist her writing.
Laura Garmeson is a writer and translator from Portuguese and French. Her work has been published in the Financial Times, the Times Literary Supplement, Asymptote Journal and The Economist, among other publications.
Sophie Lewis is a translator and an editor. Working from Portuguese and French, she has translated numerous authors and she co-founded the Shadow Heroes translation workshops enterprise – www.shadowheroes.org. Sophie’s translations have been shortlisted for the Scott Moncrieff and Republic of Consciousness prizes, and longlisted for the International Booker Prize.
This book was selected to receive financial assistance from English PEN’s “PEN Translates!” programme, supported by Arts Council England. English PEN exists to promote literature and our understanding of it, to uphold writers’ freedoms around the world, to campaign against the persecution and imprisonment of writers for stating their views, and to promote the friendly co-operation of writers and the free exchange of ideas www.englishpen.org
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