© Carine Wallauer
Carola Saavedra was born in Chile in 1973 and moved to Brazil at the age of three. She has lived and studied in Spain, France and Germany, where she graduated in media studies. She is currently living in Germany. Her novels have been awarded numerous prizes such as Prêmio Rachel de Queiroz or the Prize of the Associação Paulista dos Críticos de Arte. Saavedra was selected as one of the twenty promising new authors in Brazilian literature by Granta magazine.
With Somnolent Weapons. A Bildungsroman („Com Armas Sonolentas. Um romance de formação“) revolves around three women: Firstly Anna, an aspiring actress of humble origins who sees a German filmmaker as her means of being taken seriously and achieving fame and recognition. Moving to his home village in Germany soon after meeting, reality, exacerbated by not knowing the language, is very different to her expectations. Then there is melancholic Maike, a young German girl who, for no apparent reason, decides to study Portuguese at university to the disgust of her parents, both lawyers. She gradually discovers that her unlikely connection with the language and Brazil is growing stronger. And there is a third character, unnamed, who at the age of fourteen is forced by her mother to leave her home in the interior of Brazil to work as a domestic servant in Rio de Janeiro, where, like so many similar cases, complex relationships will develop in her dealings with her employers.
They are three very distinct, but strongly interconnected, women who experience a growing situation of abandonment and exile - whether geographical or emotional. The journey that each one of them embarks on is a way of "returning home", in the quest to unveil their true identity.
Carola Saavedra’s new book The Inventory of Missing Things (“O inventário das coisas ausentes”) is a multilayered novel about two lovers, their families and their past. While the protagonist has always been a disappointment to his father, a former resistance fighter during Brazil’s dictatorship, his girlfriend Nina, divorced after a smothering marriage, has a troubled family history dominated by religion and science. When they meet again 14 years after Nina’s surprising departure, they get closer again, but it may be too late. With her characteristically meaningful insinuations and wonderful prose, Saavedra makes this novel a fascinating reading experience.
Carola Saavedra displays the talent of someone who is deservedly regarded as one of the leading exponents of Brazilian literature today.
A contemporary book I’d gladly read again.
Landscape with Dromedary (“Paisagem com dromedário”) is a fascinating piece of remembrance and reflection. Withdrawn to a volcanic island, the plastic artist Érika records her thoughts about recent events and memories on tape. It is her attempt to come to terms with her relationship with Alex and figure out who she is without him and their mutual friend Karen, whom they both left behind when she fell terminally ill. In beautiful and concise language, Saavedra questions the traditional idea of relationships and takes the reader to the inner self of an unusual woman.
Landscape with Dromedary delicately and brilliantly takes up the big and insoluble questions of existence.
Sérgio Vilas-Boas, rascunho
A wonderful novel from an artist’s perspective.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
In Blue Flowers (“Flores azuis”), Saavedra tells an ingenious story about a man who undergoes a deep transformation. When the recently divorced Marcos opens some letters addressed to his previous tenant and referring to the end of a love story, his whole life begins to fall apart. The more he feels drawn to the mysterious A. who signs the letters, the more he questions his own relationships to the women around him. And maybe the letters are not reaching him merely by chance after all… Written in refined prose, Flores azuis plays with what the unsaid can achieve in a very elaborate way.
Saavedra’s prose is woven with juvenile vigour and the sureness of an experienced hand.
Le Monde diplomatique Brazil
With Somnolent Weapons. A Bildungsroman (”Com Armas Sonolentas. Um romance de formação“)
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2018, 272 p.
The Inventory of Missing Things (”O inventário das coisas ausentes“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2014, 128 p.
Chile: Tajamar (Spanish rights for America) 2015
Landscape with Dromedary (”Paisagem com dromedário“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2010, 168 p.
Prêmio Rachel de Queiroz (young authors), finalist Prêmio São Paulo de Literatura and Prêmio Jabuti 2011
English and Dutch sample translations available
Costa Rica: Ediciones Lanzallamas 2015 ● France: Mercure de France 2014 ● Germany: C.H. Beck 2013
Blue Flowers (”Flores azuis“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2008, 168 p.
Best Novel Associação Paulista dos Críticos de Arte, finalist Prêmio São Paulo de Literatura and Prêmio Jabuti
English, Spanish and Dutch sample translations available
Chile: Tajamar (Spanish rights for America) ● Germany: C.H. Beck 2015 ● Portugal: Livros de Seda 2010 ● US: Riverhead
Every Tuesday (”Toda terça“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2007, 160 p.
English sample translation available
Portugal: Livros de Seda 2011
Do lado de fora
7Letras 2005, 68 p.
Brazil 25 - 2000-2015 (”Brésil 25 – 2000-2015“)
France: Métailié 2015
Popcorn on Copacabana. Young Brazilian literature
(”Popcorn an der Copacabana. Junge brasilianische Literatur“)
Germany: Wagenbach 2013
die horen. Brazil (”die horen. Brasilien“)
(Ed. Michi Strausfeld)
Germany: Wallstein 2013
Der schwarze Sohn Gottes. 15 Fußballgeschichten aus Brasilien
(Ed. Luiz Ruffato)
Germany: Assoziation A 2013
Clearings. Brazil (”Lichtungen. Brasilien“)
Granta 121: Best of Young Brazilian Novelists
London: Granta 2012
(short story Fragmento de um romance)
Geração Zero Zero, Brazil: Língua Geral 2012
Essa história está diferente. Dez contos para canções de Chico Buarque
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2010, 264 p.
Brazil: Editora Flâneur 2010
Um homem célebre: Machado recriado
Brazil: Publifolha 2008
Sam no es mi tío
US: Alfaguara 2008, 304 p., e-book 2012 (Spanish language)