For André, a young man growing up on a farm in Brazil, life consists of “the earth, the wheat, the bread, our table, and our family.” He loves the land, fears his austere, pious father, who preaches from the head of the table as if from a pulpit, and loathes himself as he begins to harbor shameful feelings for his sister Ana.
Lyrical and sensual, written with biblical intensity, this classic Brazilian coming-of-age novel follows André’s tormented path. He falls into the comforting embrace of liquor as—in his psychological and sexual awakening—he must choose between body and soul, obligation and freedom.
How often, honestly, does the unveiling in translation of a “forgotten genius” live up to the hype? Well, here’s one who does: the Brazilian Raduan Nassar.
— Lorna Scott Fox, The Times Literary Supplement
Nassar…pitches into his sentences spanning whole chapters, constructions so breathless that it’s impossible not to dash through them. But the end of one only activates our craving for the next. This is downhill prose, not for savoring but for devouring.
— Becca Rothfeld, Bookforum
Both books remain hot, dense and coarse, full of raw feeling and mental friction. Grainy as dust, dark as dirt. Nassar delivers his portraits of human fallibility and fragility masterfully.
— On Art and Aesthetics
[W]ith two short books that together amounted to fewer than three hundred pages, he was already being hailed as one of Brazil’s greatest writers, mentioned in the same breath as Clarice Lispector and João Guimarães Rosa.
— Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker
Cataclysmic, insatiable, and ablaze, Raduan Nassar’s voluptuous prose thundered through me from the very first line and shook me to the core.
— Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond
While reading, and marveling at, Ancient Tillage and A Cup of Rage—both of them set on farms in the Brazilian outback, both of them stylistically bold achievements—we are struck by two other feelings: disappointment that Nassar wrote so little, and disbelief that it took so long to render his unique voice into English.
— Malcolm Forbes, The National
Raduan Nassar became a Brazilian sensation with his first novel. Now published in English, the world will come knocking.