Chico Buarque: Leite Derramado (Spilt Milk)

The latest addition to my website is Chico Buarque‘s Leite Derramado (Spilt Milk). The book is narrated by a hundred-year old Brazilian man, who is lying in a hospital bed in Rio de Janeiro, in a public hospital. He comes from a rich family but the family has fallen on hard times, partially through poor investments, partially through dishonest dealings. His father was murdered, either because of sex or money, his son-in-law ran off with the family money, his grandson was murdered by the police (apparently) and his great-grandson killed in a dubious kidnapping. His great-great grandson seems to be well-off, though possibly from drug dealing. His wife left him with a baby, though it is not clear what happened to her, as various explanations are given by this unreliable narrator. Now he lies in a hospital bed, talking to his daughter, the nurses and his long dead parents about the family and his not very successful life, criticising all and sundry. It is both a funny book but also a serious attempt to look at Brazil, its history, its corruption and its racism.

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