José Luís Peixoto
© Pedro Loureiro
José Luís Peixoto was born in Galveias in 1974. He has a degree in modern languages and literature from the Universidade Nova in Lisbon. His literary work has been translated into twenty languages so far. He has received many distinctions and prestigious awards, among others the José Saramago Prize 2001 and the Libro d'Europa Award 2010, and he was shortlisted for the Portugal Telecom Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Femina Prize. 2016 his latest novel Galveias, which sold already over 30,000 copies in Portugal, has won the prestigious Prémio Oceanos 2016 (formerly: Portugal Telecom), Brazilian literary award for works in Portuguese language. José Luís Peixoto is one of Portugal's most acclaimed and bestselling contemporary novelists.
Between Bangkok and Las Vegas, José Luís Peixoto returns to non-fiction with an astonishing, layered book of unforeseen relationships, moving from the most intimate account to the most remote and exuberant of descriptions. O Caminho Imperfeito (“The Imperfect Path”) is itself the long journey to a Thailand beyond the normal tourist haunts, exploring lesser known aspects of its culture, society, history and religion, among many others. The sinister discovery of several parcels containing parts of a human body at a post office in Bangkok cause, with unpredictable consequences, his wanderings to become an ordeal. Every episode of this eccentric investigation forms "The Imperfect Path" and, at the same time, constitutes a search for the meaning of travel, writing, and life itself.
In his new novel Em Teu Ventre (“In Your Belly”), José Luís Peixoto addresses one of the defining religious events of the 20th century: the appearance of the Virgin Mary before the eyes of three children in the Portuguese village of Fátima in 1917. After lengthy interviews, the Catholic Church recognized this miracle, turning Fátima into a place of worldwide pilgrimage. But what is behind the phenomenon? Peixoto is interested in people, and so he chooses the ten-year-old Lúcia as the protagonist of his novel. She is the youngest of five children and therefore especially dear to her mother Maria’s heart. Although piously educated, Lúcia is a very headstrong and dreamy girl. For her, the arrival of the Madonna means a sudden end of her childhood and separation from her birth mother. Situated between Christian mysticism and historical research, Em Teu Ventre is a piece of fictional biography of the figure of Sister Lúcia, now revered as a saint in Portugal. Without deciding between reason and superstition, the novel is an ode to both the freedom of faith and the love between mother and child.
The sleepy village of Galveias is home to both long-established families with their rivalries and feuds, like the brothers José and Justino who fell out over their inheritance and haven’t spoken for over fifty years, and newcomers like Isabella, the beautiful Brazilian who runs the bakery that, at night, also functions as a brothel. After the village is struck by some sort of mysterious meteor, the bread starts tasting of sulphur, relationships are reshaped and a series of events is set in motion: it stops raining for nine months; the two brothers are finally reconciled with each other and with their past; Isabella is mistaken for a cork thief and accidentally shot. Then finally a baby girl who doesn’t smell of sulphur is born, and the spell is broken.
This beautifully written novel is brimming with astute observations and depictions of human behaviour, of life itself and how it is shaped and changed. The characters that inhabit the captivating microcosm of Galveias inevitably draw the reader in with their intertwining stories that come together as one.
One of the most gifted writers of his country.
Peixoto has an extraordinary way of perceiving, conveyed in his original choices of language and imagery.
The Times Literary Supplement
Livro (“Book”) confirms José Luís Peixoto as one of the leading contemporary Portuguese novelists, and also as an author of increasing importance on the international literary scene.
This book chooses as its backdrop the extraordinary saga of Portuguese emigration to France, told through a gallery of unforgettable characters and the luminous writing of José Luís Peixoto. From a village in Portugal to Paris, and from popular culture to the most erudite of literary references, are revealed to us the traces of a past that took thousands of Portuguese in search of better conditions and a future of dual nationality. Overwhelming and striking, "Livro" (Book) exposes the magnitude of the dream and the rawness, ironic, tender or grotesque, of reality. Through stories of lives, meetings and farewells, the reader is led to a disconcerting ending beyond the frontiers of literature.
Peixoto’s writing possesses a rare, rhythmic beauty.
A writer who raises aloft the literature of his country.
Peixoto’s bold, incantatory prose is consistently beautiful – apparently simple but also incredibly rich and resonant.
Please also visit the author’s website:
Em Teu Ventre
Lisbon: Quetzal 2015, 165 p.
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2017 ● Spain: Literatura Random House 2017 ● Venezuela: bid & co
Lisbon: Quetzal 2014, 280 p.
Complete English translation available (Portugal: Tell a Story)
Over 30,000 copies sold in Portugal
Prémio Oceanos 2016
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2015 ● China: Foreign Language ● Croatia: Bozicevic ● Czech Republic: Smrst 2017 ● Egypt: Al Arabi 2017 ● France: Seuil 2017 ● Georgia: Bakur Sulakauri 2017 ● Greece: Kedros 2016 ● Japan: Shinchosha 2018 ● Spain: Literatura Random House 2016
Lisbon: Quetzal 2010, 264 p.
Libro d'Europa Award 2010 (Italy)
Shortlisted for the Femina Award 2010 (France)
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2012 ● Bulgaria: Sevtulka 44 ● Croatia: Bozicevic 2016 ● France: Grasset 2012 ● Greece: Kedros 2015 ● Italy: Einaudi 2013 ● Mexico: Arlequín 2018 ● Poland: Swiat Ksiazki 2018 ● Serbia: Kontrast ● Spain: El Aleph 2011
Cemitério de Pianos
Lisbon: Quetzal 2006, 288 p.
Calamo Award for the best translated novel published in Spain 2007
Brazil: Record 2008 ● Egypt: Al Arabi 2016 ● France: Grasset 2008, Folio/Gallimard pb 2009 ● German: Septime 2017 ● Greece: Ellinika Grammata 2009 ● Israel: Kineret 2011 ● Italy: Einaudi 2010 ● Mexico: Arlequín 2018 ● Netherlands: Meulenhoff 2008 ● Romania: Polirom 2010 ● Spain: El Aleph 2007 (avail.), pb 2008 ● UK: Bloomsbury 2010, Bloomsbury pb 2011 ● Uruguay: HUM 2016
Uma Casa na Escuridão
Lisbon: Quetzal 2002, 256 p.
Brazil: Record 2009 ● France: Grasset 2006 ● Germany: Septime 2015 ● Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2004 ● Spain: El Aleph 2008 (avail.)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2000, 224 p.
Complete English translation available
José Saramago Literary Award 2001
Selected by the Financial Times as one of their best books 2007; part of ‘Discover Great new writer’ selection by Barnes & Noble in the USA; selected by expresso (Portugal) as one of their 10 best books of the decade
Albania: Ombra GVG ● Belarus: Vsemirnaja literature 2006 ● Brazil: Agir/Ediouro 2005, Dublinense ● Bulgaria: Pet Plus 2006 ● Colombia: Ediciones Uniandes ● Croatia: V.B.Z. 2004 ● Czech Republic: Barrister 2004 ● Estonia: SA Kultuurileht ● Poland: Prószyński i S-ka 2008 ● Finland: Wsoy 2005 ● France: Grasset 2003 ● Hungary: Europa 2007 ● Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2002 ● Mexico: Arlequín 2017 ● Netherlands: Meulenhoff 2003 ● Peru: Cascahuesos ● Romania: Polirom 2009 ● Spain: Hiru 2001, El Aleph 2009 (avail.) ● Turkey: Arkadas 2005 ● UK: Bloomsbury 2007 ● US: Doubleday 2008, Anchor pb 2009
O Caminho Imperfeito
Lisbon: Quetzal 2017, 192 p.
Dentro do Segredo
Lisbon: Quetzal 2012, 240 p.
Spanish complete translation and English sample translation available
Albania: Odeon 2017 ● Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2014 ● Bulgaria: Svetulka 44 ● Croatia: Bozicevic ●
Macedonia: Ars Lamina 2017 ● Netherlands: Atlas Contact 2014 ● Spain: Xordica 2016
Lisbon: Quetzal 2000, 64 p.
Brazil: Dublinense 2015 ● Belarus: Wsemirnaja Literatura 2007 ● Belgium: I.C.B. 2002 ● Catalonia: El Gall 2006, Minúscula 2018 ● Croatia: Umro si me 2004 ● France: Grasset & Fasquelle 2014 ● India: Instituto Camões 2017 ● Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2005 ● Spain: Editora Regional de Extremadura 2004, Ed. Minúscula 2018 ● UK: The Warwick Review 2010 ● Venezuela: bid & co
Lisbon: Quetzal 2003
Colombia: Taller de Edición Rocca 2014 ● Italy: Scritturapura 2006 ● US: Writ Large Press 2013
Lisbon: Quetzal 2008, 208 p.
Lisbon: Quetzal 2011, 664 p.
Brazil: Companhia das Letras ● France: Grasset
Historias de Nuestra Casa (Cal and Te me moriste)
Montevideo: Hum Editores 2009
La distancia entre la piel y el tatuaje
Santiago de Chile: Universidade Santiago de Chile 2010
Todos os Escritores do Mundo Têm a Cabeça Cheia de Piolhos
Lisbon: Quetzal 2016, 32 p.
A Mãe que Chovia
Lisbon: Quetzal 2012, 64 p.
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2016 ● Colombia: Edición Rocca
Criança em Ruínas
Lisbon: Quetzal 2001, 96 p.
Czech Republic: Dauphin 2009
A Casa, a Escuridão
Lisbon: Quetzal 2002, 80 p.
Bulgaria: Pet Plus 2006
Gaveta de Papéis
Lisbon: Quetzal 2008, 88 p.
Anthology of all books
Anthology of Poetry
Venezuela: bid & co