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Torto Arado (Em Portugues do Brasil) af _
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Torto Arado (Em Portugues do Brasil) (original 2019; udgave 2019)

af _ (Forfatter)

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3171284,069 (4.28)23
"Deep in Brazil's neglected Bahia hinterland, two sisters find an ancient knife beneath their grandmother's bed and, momentarily mystified by its power, decide to taste its metal. The shuddering violence that follows marks their lives and binds them together forever. Heralded as a masterpiece, this fascinating and gripping story about the lives of subsistence farmers in Brazil's poorest region, three generations after the abolition of slavery, is at once fantastic and realist, covering themes of family, spirituality, and political struggle"--… (mere)
Medlem:ErezMilgrom
Titel:Torto Arado (Em Portugues do Brasil)
Forfattere:_ (Forfatter)
Info:Todavia (2019)
Samlinger:Læser for øjeblikket
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Crooked Plow af Itamar Vieira Junior (2019)

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Interesting look at an interior Bahia, Brazil, tenant farming community in modern times. The descendants of slaves, the tenants are unpaid for their farm labor and also have to return a percent of anything they grow or harvest on their own. They have their own community, with their own religious leaders and traditions and foodways.

Through the book we learn how some of the characters came to be here, and how an action decades earlier can affect lives today in ways no one even considered.

There is also political action for pay for tenants, for them to be allowed land for their own use (including building permanent houses, not just mud), for actual pay.

A very interesting look at a section of Brazil, with its parallels to US history. Great story, well done. ( )
  Dreesie | Jun 1, 2024 |
Obra literária obrigatória para os vestibulares UEL 2025 e UFSC 2025. Um texto épico e lírico, realista e mágico que revela, para além de sua trama, um poderoso elemento de insubordinação social. Vencedor do prêmio Leya 2018. Nas profundezas do sertão baiano, as irmãs Bibiana e Belonísia encontram uma velha e misteriosa faca na mala guardada sob a cama da avó. Ocorre então um acidente. E para sempre suas vidas estarão ligadas ― a ponto de uma precisar ser a voz da outra. Numa trama conduzida com maestria e com uma prosa melodiosa, o romance conta uma história de vida e morte, de combate e redenção. ( )
  Naves3516 | May 15, 2024 |
This novel, which is currently on this year's International Booker Prize shortlist and has won several awards in Brasil and Portugal, is set in the interior of the state of Bahia, several generations after the freedom of slaves from Africa in 1888. The former slaves are generally "employed" as tenant farmers, who are allowed to build flimsy mud shacks on the properties of the plantation owners, but are not allowed to own property or build sturdier brick homes. They harvest their own plots, but much of the best harvest is taken from them by the owners and their White overseers, as they deem that the harvest belongs to them, and the farmers are forced to purchase goods from the owners at exorbitant prices. (Hmm, does this sound familiar?)

The story opens with two young sisters, Bibiana and Belonísia, who have discovered a stunning ivory handled knife in the suitcase of their grandmother Donana, which is wrapped in an old rag. The sisters are each fascinated by the knife and want to taste it immediately. Each pulls on the knife, and in doing so suffer extreme cuts to their tongue, with a complete amputation of one of the organs and a serious injury to the other one. Because of their impoverished status and distance from major cities neither is able to receive adequate medical care. The sister with the least grevious injury is eventually able to regain speech, and the two remain close and able to communicate to each other.

The sisters form the basis of this intriguing and often tragic tale about the hard lives of these quilombolas, descendants of Afro-Brasilian slaves who, like their African American counterparts, suffered from extreme racism and violence if they dared stand up for their rights as Brasilian citizens. The women suffer the most, at the hands of unfaithful and often violent men who exert their frustrations on them. The novel is filled with great beauty, though, with magical realism sprinkled throughout, and as their conditions improve, their hopes for better lives do as well.

I greatly enjoyed Crooked Plow, which so far is my favorite of the three books I’ve read from this year’s International Booker Prize shortlist. The author, Itamar Vieira Junior, is of Afro-Brasilian descent with a doctorate in Ethnic and African Studies and has studied the quilombola communities extensively, so he is quite knowledgeable about the people he writes about. ( )
  kidzdoc | May 6, 2024 |
Beautifully written! Two sisters living in remote Brazil, the descendants of slaves injure themselves with the blade of a sharp knife belonging to their grandmother. Belonisia cuts off her tongue; her older sister, Bibiana learns to talk for her.

The struggles of these people are beyond imagining, but the strength, solidarity, love, and depth of feeling is so well portrayed. Catholicism and ancient believes brought from Africa blend together in ceremonies, healing potions, and beliefs. The father of the girls, is a healer, good to his family, beloved by the community of Agra Nigra but lives a hard life working the land

There are terrible things that happen in the book but all is told with so much respect for the people. The language, a sort of magical realism, that works so well. Loved the book. ( )
1 stem maryreinert | May 5, 2024 |
23. Crooked Plow by Itamar Vieira Junior
OPD: 2018, translation: from Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz (2023)
format: 276-page paperback
acquired: Library loan read: Apr 13-19 time reading: 8:58, 2.0 mpp
rating: 4
genre/style: contemporary fiction theme: Booker 2024
locations: Bahia, Brazil
about the author: Brazilian writer from born in Salvador, Bahia in 1979. He also grew up in Pernambuco and São Luís. He was the first recipient of the Milton Santos Scholarship, dedicated to low-income black youth.

My 5th book from the International Booker longlist, and another on the shortlist. This is a nice novel and really popular on the Booker Prize-run Facebook Booker Prize Book Club. It's the story of the descendants of Brazilian slaves, focused on two sisters in a tenant farm family, children of a healer, and connected through the accident with a knife that leaves them sharing one tongue.

As a reader, I first appreciated the elegant language of one sister, who tells how the sisters now speak as one. Then the other sister speaks, and the language becomes more practical without changing the book's tone. Through both we learn about their community, and their father, a traditional healer who becomes possessed by an African-originated encantada, a female spirit, on the festival for St. Barbara.

These are the descendants of Brazilian slaves who continued to work farms as unpaid tenant farmers, working for no pay. They could build mud houses, and only mud houses, and raise their own food, but got nothing else from the crops they worked. Generation changes mean many things, including gratitude for work turning to resentment towards profit-hungry absent landlords as lives come to nothing. But what maybe makes this book special, other than its suite of characters, including the sisters who share one tongue, is the mythology - the mixture of African spirits, here "encantados", with Catholic mythologies and sainted martyrs. Of course, these, too, fade with the generations.

What I didn't know while reading was the modern story of Quilombos. Quilombos were communities of free black escaped slaves in Brazil, and now are their descendants. Making up a small population, they are a centerpiece in Brazilian politics. Lula da Silva, president 2003-2010, was a more leftwing president, fronted the rights of Quilombos. Whereas Jair Bolsonaro, president 2019-2022, a right-wing extremist, prominently singled out Quilombos in 2017 as lazy, spurring on, Trump-like, his racist base. This book was published in 2018 in Brazil, but only translated to English last year.

I'm not quite as enthused as some on this novel. There is an unoriginality to the language in translation, and maybe the agenda simplifies things a little. But it rewards, and the encantados are fascinating. Worth a read.

2024
https://www.librarything.com/topic/358760#8515201 ( )
  dchaikin | Apr 21, 2024 |
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When I opened the suitcase and took out the knife, wrapped in a grimy old rag tied with a knot and covered in dark stains, I was just over seven years old.
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"Deep in Brazil's neglected Bahia hinterland, two sisters find an ancient knife beneath their grandmother's bed and, momentarily mystified by its power, decide to taste its metal. The shuddering violence that follows marks their lives and binds them together forever. Heralded as a masterpiece, this fascinating and gripping story about the lives of subsistence farmers in Brazil's poorest region, three generations after the abolition of slavery, is at once fantastic and realist, covering themes of family, spirituality, and political struggle"--

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