In the dream-Brazil of John Updike’s imagining, almost anything is possible if you are young and in love. When Tristão Raposo, a black nineteen-year-old from the Rio slums, and Isabel Leme, an eighteen-year-old upper-class white girl, meet on Copacabana Beach, their flight from family and into marriage takes them to the farthest reaches of Brazil’s phantasmagoric western frontier. Privation, violence, captivity, and reversals of fortune afflict them, yet this latter-day Tristan and Iseult cling to the faith that each is the other’s fate for life. Spanning twenty-two years, from the sixties through the eighties, Brazil surprises with its celebration of passion, loyalty, romance, and New World innocence.
About John Updike
John Updike was the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His novels have been honored with the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hugging the Shore, an earlier collection of essays and reviews, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He died in January 2009.
“Steamy . . . breathtaking . . . In Updike’s novel, our vast South American neighbor emerges as a country both ancient and new.”—The New Yorker
“There is a wonderful drive to the novel, true lyricism, real drama. . . . Updike has rare insight into the psychology of sexual behavior and the mysterious, almost otherworldly devotedness Tristão and Isabel share.”—Chicago Tribune
“The book [is] thrilling, not only by its own rights, as an action-driven narrative designed to thrill, but also as an instance of a contemporary master, one whom we thought we had figured out long ago, daring to reinvent himself before our jaded eyes.”—The New Criterion