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Violeta among the Stars

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529402445

Price: £16.99

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I should have stayed at home, I should have stayed at home, I should have stayed at home, for some time, seconds, hours, I can do nothing,

suddenly I stop

Violeta is driving along a lonely stretch of late-night motorway, in the midst of a fearsome storm. When her tired eyes close for just a second, her car veers off the road, rolls down a muddy embankment, over and over, and comes to rest on an empty stretch of sodden ground.

And as she lies amid the wreckage of her car, suspended between this world and the next, Violeta’s life will quite literally flash before her eyes . . .

Scenes from her past overlap with what happened right before the accident: her upbringing with her distant, critical mother; her father’s mysterious double-life; her troubled relationship with her daughter; her life on the road as she drives between waxing product-selling appointments with breaks at motorway service stations, the abuse from other travellers mocking her size, the alcohol, the risky encounters with lorry drivers on filthy public toilet floors…

Violeta Among the Stars weaves memories and feelings as Violeta reflects on her death, her life, her reality and her dreams. An astonishing portrait of a seemingly insignificant life, from one of Portugal’s greatest living writers.

Translated from the Portuguese by Ángel Gurría-Quintana

Ángel Gurría-Quintana is a historian, journalist and literary translator from Spanish and Portuguese. He writes regularly for the books pages of the Financial Times, and his translations include the anthology Other Carnivals: Short Stories from Brazil and The Return, by Dulce Maria Cardoso.

With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union


A vibrant style, a brilliant novel
De Standaard
Every word is in the right place and the result is pure music
De Volkskrant
A devastating novel
Matricule des Anges
A powerful, moving monologue that weaves intimate voices with the history of contemporary Portugal
Véronique Rossignol, Livre Hebdo
Exceptional ... absolutely compelling ... this novel is truly unforgettable
Anne Cunningham, Irish Independent
Quite extraordinary and a privilege to read . . . Devastating but immensely moving . . . Violeta among the Stars is related with rare eloquence
Rosie Goldsmith, European Literature Network
Both the translator Ángel Gurría-Quintana and Cardoso herself are true masters of their craft . . . an artistic achievement in style and form that will move you, even if you don't want it to. It is an extraordinary piece of writing on the life of an ordinary woman.