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Jerusalemby Goncalo M. Tavares
Gonçalo M. Tavares may very well be, in the coming months and years, the world's hottest literary sensation. Born in 1970, the Portuguese writer published his first book in 2002, and has since gone on to write well over a dozen more. His works have already been translated into nearly 25 languages, and he is quickly amassing quite the collection of literary awards. He has drawn high praise from a diverse array of prominent authors, including José Saramago and Enrique Vila-Matas.
Jerusalem is the first of his books to appear in English translation within the United States. (Some of his books can be found in English, but as yet have only been published in India.) Winner of the prestigious Portugal Telecom Prize (2007) and the José Saramago Prize (2005), Jerusalem is a magnificent and powerful work of fiction. Slim in length yet resounding in effect, Jerusalem explores the interplay of a half-dozen lives touched by violence, madness, duty, control, self-criticism, and doubt. The characters' lives intersect unexpectedly, lending the narrative the necessary thrust to allow the reader to consider the repercussions of history and human nature on the individual. With commanding prose and a thrilling plot, Jerusalem is an important work and, perhaps, an early effort from a literary master in the making.
During the ceremony bestowing the award that bears his name, Saramago said, "Jerusalem is a great book, and truly deserves a place among the great works of western literature. Gonçalo M. Tavares has no right to be writing so well at the age of 35, one feels like punching him." Gonçalo Tavares, arguably the most prolific writer in recent memory, is poised for great things. No living writer has enjoyed so quick an ascendancy, and it appears his imagination and talent are limitless. Saramago went on, "[T]here is very much a before Gonçalo M. Tavares and an after... I've predicted that in thirty years' time, if not before, he will win the Nobel Prize and I'm sure my prediction will come true. My only regret is that I won't be there to give him a congratulatory hug."
Synopses & Reviews
One morning late in May, between three and six A.M., a group of lonely men and women wait to be brought together, like the elements in an equation. Ernst Spengler is about to throw himself out his window. Mylia, terminally ill and in enormous pain, goes out to visit a church. Hinnerk Obst, who's always been told by the neighborhood children that he looks like a murderer, walks the streets with a loaded gun. As these characters are manipulated and brought together, a world of violence, fear, pain, and uncertainty is portrayed, where human nature itself, and the mechanisms determining our actions, our fictions, and the elements of our imagination, are laid bare. Jerusalem is a terrifying and grimly humorous summation of the possibilities and limits of the human condition at the beginning of the 21st century.
Hailed by Jose Saramago as the best writer of his generation and a likely future winner of the Nobel Prize, Dalkey Archive is proud to introduce Goncalo M. Tavares and his breakthrough novel.
About the Author
Anna Kushneris the translator of two forthcoming books, The Halfway Houseby Guillermo Rosales and The Autobiography of Fidel Castroby Norberto Fuentes. She was a finalist for the John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize in 2007.
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