Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon is a radiant, masterful work — a lavishly composed tale rich with convincing characters and absorbing subplots. Concerned mostly with the hardships of progress (political, commercial, civil, and interpersonal), Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon is, at once, a folk novel, a romance, a political thriller, and a social critique. Jorge Amado expertly weaves together tantalizing threads of lust, infidelity, betrayal, murder, tradition, and humor, creating an extraordinarily expansive work. This is indeed the rare novel that immerses us completely in the sights, sounds, and smells of a milieu most of us will never get to experience firsthand. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
(Gabriela, Cravo e Canela
) is a radiant and masterful work from Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado. Set mostly within Ilhéus , a city in the coastal region of Bahia, Gabriela
is a magnificently composed tale, rich with convincing characters and absorbing subplots.
Amado deftly conveys the brilliance and intensity of life within 1920s Brazil, and the reader is left with a stunning and colorful impression of what daily life in the region would have been like. (Amado was born there in 1921.)
Concerned mostly with the hardships of progress (political, commercial, civil, and interpersonal), Gabriela
is at once a folk novel, a romance, a political thriller, and a social critique. Amado expertly weaves together tantalizing tales of lust, infidelity, betrayal, murder, tradition, and humor, creating an extraordinarily expansive work.
The novel succeeds in nearly every capacity, but shines brightest in its overall effect. With its vivid and unforgettable characters, Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
is an imaginative and absorbing work of fiction that leaves an enduring impression on the reader. This is indeed the rare novel that immerses us completely in the sights, sounds, and smells of a milieu most of us will never get to experience firsthand.
From Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
New streets had been opened, automobiles brought in, mansions built, roads constructed, newspapers published, clubs organized- Ilhéus was transformed. But the ways men think and feel evolve more slowly. Thus it has always been, in every society. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Ilhéus in 1925 is a booming town with a record cacao crop and aspirations for progress, but the traditional ways prevail. When Colonel Mendonça discovers his wife in bed with a lover, he shoots and kills them both. Political contests, too, can be settled by gunshot…
No one imagines that a bedraggled migrant worker who turns up in town–least of all Gabriela herself–will be the agent of change. Nacib Saad has just lost the cook at his popular café and in desperation hires Gabriela. To his surprise she turns out to be a great beauty as well as a wonderful cook and an enchanting boon to his business. But what would people say if Nacib were to marry her?
Lusty, satirical and full of intrigue, Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon is a vastly entertaining panorama of small town Brazilian life.
"Gossipy, funny, very much alive." The New Yorker
"A twentieth-century Charles Dickens....A master craftsman." The Nation
"One hardly knows what to admire most: the dexterity with which [Amado] can keep half a dozen plots spinning, the gossamer texture of his writing, or his humor, tenderness and humanity." Saturday Review
"An enchanting and romantic novel....A comedy vivid, believable, and entertaining." The Atlantic Monthly
"An exciting and enjoyable romp of a book, rich in literary delights." The New York Times
About the Author
Jorge Amado—novelist, journalist, lawyer—was born in 1912, the son of a cacao planter, in Ilheus, south of Salvador, the provincial capital of Gabriela, clavo y canela. His first novel, Cacao, was published when he was nineteen. It was an impassioned plea for social justice for the workers on Bahian cacao plantations; and his novels of the thirties and forties would continue to dramatize class struggle. Not until the 1950s did he write his great literary comic
novels—Gabriela, clavo y canela and Doña Flor y sus dos maridos—which take aim at the full spectrum of society even as they pay ebullient tribute to the region of his birth. One of the most reknowned writers of the Latin American boom of the sixties, Amado has been translated into more than 35 languages. A highly successful film version of Doña Flor was produced in Brazil in 1976. He died in 2001.