Edney Silvestre is an award-winner novelist, writer, and journalist. From 1991 to 2002, he was an international correspondent for newspaper O Globo and network TV Globo, in New York. Nowadays, he presents the TV Show Globo News Literatura.
His first novel, IF I CLOSE MY EYES NOW, which won the prestigious Jabuti Prize, was published in seven countries and is being adapted into a TV series by TV Globo, to be aired in 2019. His second novel, HAPPINESS IS EASY, was published in the UK, France, and Germany to great acclaim.
IMPROBABLE LOVE (AMORES IMPROVÁVEIS)
A historic novel with erotic undertones, Improbable Love follows Emiliana Vivacqua, the eldest among four daughters of Italian immigrants Concetta and Vincenzo Vivacqua, as she meets and is besotted by Felicio Theodoro, a sharecropper, descendant of African slaves, who comes to town twice a week to sell his products and pay the profits to Father Lurran, the parish priest.
Independent minded and hard worker Emiliana has chance encounters with Felicio as she drives a one-horse carriage along a dirty road on her way to a dairy farm. She can’t help but admire the proud way he carries himself. Emiliana suspects Felicio is aware of the intense eyes she has for him. But she does not dare to speak to him. According to the small-town gossip, Felicio is married to Dozinha and has three children. But Emiliana finds out they are really Father Lurran’s offspring. The marriage is a scam to hide the priest’s constant sexual abuse of Dozinha.
Unlike her beautiful and feminine twin sisters Angela and Adelina, as well as the stunning youngest Fortunata, the plain looking no-nonsense Emiliana does not care for fantasies of marriage. According to tradition, as the eldest she is destined to take care of her parents until their last breath. Angela and Adelina get engaged with two Italian engineers who have come to Brazil to work on the railroads. Fortunata develops a passion for the romantic poetry of Gabriele D’Annunzio that will lead her to a tragic decision. As time goes by, Emiliana begins fantasizing about feeling the taste of Felicio’s skin, talking to him, being with him. And decides to act on it.
This improbable love, taken with dare by a young woman otherwise destined to a bland existence, is framed by some of the extraordinary events of the late XIX century and early XX century. Like the courageous Italian immigration across the Atlantic Ocean, the chaotic abolition of Slavery in Brazil, the military coup that dethroned the Brazilian emperor, the booming of São Paulo as a multi-ethnic metropolis, the terrible consequences of the construction of a railroad in the Amazon jungle.
Publication/Status: Published by Globo Livros (Brazil) in June 2021. [194 pages]
LIVES ON THE RUN (VIDAS PROVISÓRIAS)
Barbara Costa, an illegal immigrant in New York, speaking almost no English, works as a cleaning person and manicurist for all kinds of clients, including Nadja, a madam to elegant call girls that are housewives to unsuspecting husbands in the suburbs. Barbara is conformed to her meek existence until inadvertently falling in love with Silvio, a handsome gay shop owner and former male prostitute. Through him Barbara discovers art, poetry, simple pleasures as a picnic in Central Park or a walk through the Metropolitan Museum, unaware that Silvio has Aids and not much time to live. Exiled in Sweden, torture victim Paulo Antunes takes all sorts of jobs to make ends meet, always pessimistic about democracy in his native Brazil and about his own future.
His life on the run changes when he meets Anna Lundt in an afternoon of intense lovemaking. They move in together and have a baby. Paulo returns to his sociology studies and believes his luck has changed, but one night he comes home from work to find the man who was his torturer threatening his wife and son, imposing that Paulo becomes a mole for the Brazilian military dictatorship among the other refugees, in exchange for the safety of his new family. Barbara and Paulo’s story, set in different countries and decades, interspersed with intriguing ingenuity, is a moving saga of loss and despair, hope and courage, in face of a hostile world.
Publication/Status: Originally published by Intrínseca (Brazil) in 2013, republished by Globo Livros (Brazil) in December 2021. Published by Castor de Papel (Portugal) in 2022. [240 pages]
IF I CLOSE MY EYES NOW (SE EU FECHAR OS OLHOS AGORA)
On a sunny morning in April 1961 in a small town in Brazil – while Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to leave Earth’s atmosphere, unveiling a universe of possibilities for humankind – two 12-year-old boys find the mutilated body of a beautiful woman at the edge of a lake. Refusing to accept the official explanation for the crime – that, motivated by jealousy, the husband of the woman, a fragile dentist, is the culprit –, they start an investigation of their own, helped by an old man who lives in a shelter for the elderly.
A fast-paced psychological thriller, winner of the 2010 Jabuti Prize and 2010 São Paulo Literary Award, this novel reveals a perverse scenario involving sexual violence, racism, corruption and spurious political alliances during an era when Brazil is on the path to industrialization. For the boys, a terrible process of maturing and coming of age.
Publication/Status: by Record (Brazil), in 2009; Arbeiderspers (Holland); Evro-Giunti (Serbia); Planeta (Portugal); Belfond (France); Transworld/Doubleday (UK); Mondadori (Italy) and Blanvalet (Germany). Audiovisual rights sold to TV Globo. The TV series produced by TV Globo was aired in April 2019 to great acclaim and nominated the International Emmy Awards for Best International Mini-Series. [304 pages].
GOOD NIGHT TO YOU ALL (BOA NOITE A TODOS)
After a life as an expat in London, Paris, and Vienna, where she was part of what seemed an interminable party, Maggie returns to her native Brazil, breaking a safe marriage to a B-film producer to follow a younger lover. Her return to a land she left at the age of four years old, after her mother’s suicide, will be the beginning of a downward spiral of an older woman who loses her looks, her money and watches horrified as she perceives she is also losing her mind and her memory.
A profound and moving study of the human soul told with impeccable craftsmanship by award-winning novelist Edney Silvestre.
Publication/Status: by Record (Brazil) in September, 2014. [208 pages]
HAPPINESS IS EASY (A FELICIDADE É FÁCIL)
Set against one of the most dramatic moments in Brazil’s recent history, when the government confiscated citizens’ savings, this novel describes a day in the life of Mara and businessman Olavo Bettencourt, from the moment they receive news of the kidnapping of a child that could be their young son. The second novel by award-winning writer Silvestre, this riveting narrative has a cast of complex characters whose personal lives and transformations are directly affected by social and political events.
The kidnappers get the wrong child, a sweet deaf-mute boy who is the son of Mara’s and Olavo’s maid and gardener, and the reader comes to know his fate only at the last page. Brazilian racism, chauvinism, and hatred against women are exposed through characters and plot in depth rarely seen in Brazilian literature.
Publication/Status: by Record (Brazil) in 2011; Doubleday/Transworld (UK); and Belfond (France). Audiovisual rights sold to Mixer. [220 pages]