Marilene Felinto is one of a new wave of young Brazilian writers, and her work is among the very best. Born in 1957 in the northeast of Brazil, she moved to Sao Paulo in early adolescence and completed her university education there. Her fiction connects the striking contrasts of a young woman's experience and the cross-purposes of modern Brazil. In "The Women of Tijucopapo" nothing can be taken for granted since everything might be taken away. Risia is a heroine little interested in being heroic. All she wants is for her life 'to have a happy ending'. To find it she must go back to Tijucopapo, where her mother was born. One moonlit night her grandmother gave away a baby, and that baby was Risia's mother. Sharing the trauma of her mother's miserable marriage, Risia recollects and invents tales of Tijucopapo in the happier days before she was born.When she was a little girl she clung to the idea that she would kill her father for the way he treated women. Now; a woman herself, Risia hasn't lost the urge to kill. The time is ripe for it - war is in the air. Amid the disruptions of discovery and revolution, Risia walks toward Tijucopapo. Step by step she goes farther through the forest, closer to Tijucopapo, to find the beautiful side of her shamelessness, to leave behind her losses. As "Mulheres de Tijucopapo", Marilene Felinto's first novel was originally published in 1982. She currently lives in Sao Paulo. Irene Matthews is an assistant professor of comparative literature at Northern Arizona University.
University of Nebraska Press
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