Synopses & Reviews
In this enchanting and evocative novel, Antonio Tabucchi takes the reader on a dream-like trip to Portugal, a country he is deeply attached to. He spent many years there as director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Lisbon. He even wrote Requiem
in Portuguese; it had to be translated into Italian for publication in his native Italy.
Requiem's narrator has an appointment to meet someone on a quay by the Tagus at twelve. But, it turns out, not twelve noon, twelve midnight, so he has a long time to while away. As the day unfolds, he has many encounters—a young junky, a taxi driver who is not familiar with the streets, several waiters, a gypsy, a cemetery keeper, the mysterious Isabel, an accordionist, in all almost two dozen people both real and illusionary. Finally he meets The Guest, the ghost of the long dead great poet Fernando Pessoa. Part travelog, part autobiography, part fiction, and even a bit of a cookbook, Requiem becomes an homage to a country and its people, and a farewell to the past as the narrator lays claim to a literary forebear who, like himself, is an evasive and many-sided personality.
"Beautifully translated...perhaps his most accessible work to date." The Nation
"Elegant, cosmopolitan, inventive and disquieting; his writing is, paradoxically, sensuous and economical." Boston Review
"This imagined world is created with elegance and complexity." Robert Gray
"[Tabucchi's books are] economical surreal-comic novellas. There's a cosmopolitan eeriness here." Publishers Marketplace
"Winner of the 1991 Italian PEN Prize, this playful bagatelle, translated from the original Portuguese, is partly an homage to Portuguese culture, partly a mellow autobiographical fantasy." Amit Chaudhuri Times Literary Supplement
"[A] wonderful, enchanting tribute to the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa... Aptly subtitled, this book brilliantly creates a story that, like a delicious cocktail, most readers will finish in one gulp and will return to savor." Publishers Weekly
A private meeting, chance encounters, and a mysterious tour of Lisbon, in this brilliant homage to Fernando Pessoa.
About the Author
Antonio Tabucchi is the winner of the Premio Campiello for Pereira Declares, and winner of the Prix Médicis Étranger for Indian Nocturne. His other books include Requiem, It's Getting Later all the Time, and Little Misunderstandings of No Importance.Margaret Jull Costa won both the 2008 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize and the 2008 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for Eca de Queiros's The Maias. She is also the translator of the work of Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, António Lobo Antunes, and Javier Marías.