Crow Blue By Adriana Lisboa

Crow Blue image_med

Crow Blue by Adriana Lisboa

Brazilian Fiction

Original title – Azul-Corvo

Translator – Alison Entrekin

Source – Review copy

Well I’ve been saying for months on twitter Brazil is the next big thing world lit wise (no hard guess really with the worlds eyes turned there with world cup and Olympic games also they are the guest country at this year Frankfurt book fair ) so a new Brazilian novel to review and to add to the too few I have review on this blog is great and what a great novel Adriana Lisboa is one of the current stars of Brazilian Fiction and a piece by her was chosen as the challenge for this years young translator prize .Sh was born and raised in Rio spent time in France and the last six years living in the US She is also a vegetarian ,Buddhist and animal rights campaigner .

Lakewood , Colorado .A strange place .But its strangeness didn’t bother me , because the Denver suburb was , to me a , a stepping-stone .Something I was using to achieve an objective .A bridge , a ritual , a password that you utter before a door and wait for someone to open it .

Vanya arriving in the US to stop with Fernando .

So to crow blue the title has a duel meaning of both the crow blue shells of the beach in Rio and blue crows in the  US as this book follows its heroine Vanja ,her mother has died she is left with her stepfather and the go to live in the US ,But who was her real father ? This she wants to find out and how her father and mother meet ,but along the way she learns a lot more than she expected ,also a lot about Brazil’s darker past and the struggle for human rights that was fought under the last dictatorship in the country and the Araguaia guerrilla what they were fighting for and what happened to them  .Her stepfather has his own story to tell he was a guerilla at this time and a tough man.We also see through their eyes the toughness of living in the US as an immigrant and through the people they met along the way .Will she find this father and what does Vanya learn about her self along the way ?

The brazilian Armed Forces had five thousand men hunting a few dozen guerillas in the forest .By now they also knew that the communist were practising jungle survival techniques , learning to get their bearings from the sun , star and Landmarks .Learning to commando crawl in the forest ,to recognize edible fruit , to hunt .

The army gets trained to get the guerilla forces in the Jungles and forests .

I loved the pace of this book it felt just right Vanya and her stepfather are treading a path that many people from Latin america do trying to find a better life .I read an interview translated from Portuguese with Adriana about the book she said the characters aren’t based on actual people .But the settings are ones she knows well she grew up in and around  Rio and  currently lives in Colorado where the book is mostly set when they get  to the US to live .I found the feel of the two looking in at the rich american world when they got there the perfect house and Lawns  .I also really enjoyed  learning more about Brazil’s recent past and the Araguaia guerrillas and the war they fought in the seventies  a dark mark on Brazil’s recent past .I am slowly falling in love with the varied fiction of Brazil and Adriana Lisboa is another name II want to read more off .Have you a favourite Brazilian writer ?

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MarinaSofia
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 09:12:23

    Clarice Lispector is my favourite – but I have to admit it’s been a while since I read Brazilian fiction, so I don’t know all the young authors. I am planning to dedicate myself more intensively to South American literature in 2014 (with particular emphasis on Brazil, one of my favourite countries).


  2. Melinda
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 09:20:01

    Never read anything by a Brazilian author… I like the cover and it sounds interesting!


  3. Richard Shea
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 14:03:08

    Great review, as always. I’m going to need to check this one out.


  4. Tony
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 08:29:16

    Hmm, another one to add to the wave of migrant lit which people were talking about last week. Some don’t think that it’s for the better that lots of these writers are moving to the States and then writing about the experience… cough *Booker shortlist*


  5. Ocantos
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 16:08:22

    You’re more than welcome to screen the documentary film on Adriana Lisboa which is available from Vimeo at: The film is in English and it was recently screen by PBS affiliates in Denver, Richmond, and others. The film is 30 minutes long.


  6. Max Cairnduff
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 11:11:01

    I’m with that some that Tony refers to. I’m very interested in reading more Brazilian fiction. I’m not at all interested in reading more fiction about moving to the US. It’s such a narrow theme, and so very well covered already.


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October 2013


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