Ashes of the Amazon is the story of a long rebellion and the struggle to understand it. The rebel is Mundo, the embittered offshoot of a family split down the middle, whose artistic vocation clashes with his father's plans; the attempt to understand him falls to Lavo, a hard-working orphan who betters himself - if that's the word - under the influence of Mundo's father, a rich businessman with friends in the military. However, the symbolic heart of the book lies not so much in Manaus and the final years of a boom produced by the merciless exploitation of the forest, but further down the great river, in Vila Amazonia, a palatial villa near Parintins, the centre of a jute plantation and Mundo's worst nightmare. In his lifelong struggle to escape from his father's dynastic ambitions, Mundo distances himself as much as possible from this dead-centre of the novel, taking the plot to Rio de Janeiro and the effervescent worlds of Berlin and London in the 1970s. In Ashes of the Amazon, Hatoum expands and deepens his fictional world, taking seriously Flaubert's injunction to write 'the moral history of his generation'. This beautiful, mature and bitter novel is the extraordinary result.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm