Nélida Piñon: A república dos sonhos (The Republic of Dreams)

The latest addition to my website is Nélida Piño‘s A república dos sonhos (The Republic of Dreams). This is a long and complicated family saga, which jumps around chronologically – we start off with the family matriarch, Eulália, dying but she takes six hundred pages to do so. Madruga is an ambitious young man in Galicia, Spain some time after the First World War. As the region is poor, many Galicians emigrate to Brazil, with some succeeding but many returning as failures. Madruga manages to raise the money, aged thirteen, and heads off to Brazil, where he will make his fortune. He returns to Galicia to marry a Galician woman, and they have six children, one who dies as a baby and another who is killed in a car crash as an adult. Much of the book is about the dysfunctionality within the family but also about their dreams and the stories, particularly those Madruga learns from his grandfather, which will continue to influence him throughout his life. It is a superb and complex tale, one of several first-class novels written by women of that era in Brazil.

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