A beautiful, blistering life story told amid the wreckage of a car crash
I should have stayed at home, I should have stayed at home, I should have stayed at home, for some time, seconds, hours, I can do nothing,
suddenly I stop
Violeta is driving along a lonely stretch of late-night motorway, in the midst of a fearsome storm. When her tired eyes close for just a second, her car veers off the road, rolls down a muddy embankment, over and over, and comes to rest on an empty stretch of sodden ground.
And as she lies amid the wreckage of her car, suspended between this world and the next, Violeta's life will quite literally flash before her eyes . . .
Scenes from her past overlap with what happened right before the accident: her upbringing with her distant, critical mother; her father's mysterious double-life; her troubled relationship with her daughter; her life on the road as she drives between waxing product-selling appointments with breaks at motorway service stations, the abuse from other travellers mocking her size, the alcohol, the risky encounters with lorry drivers on filthy public toilet floors...
Violeta Among the Stars weaves memories and feelings as Violeta reflects on her death, her life, her reality and her dreams. An astonishing portrait of a seemingly insignificant life, from one of Portugal's greatest living writers.
Translated from the Portuguese by Angel Gurria-Quintana
A vibrant style, a brilliant novel. - De Standaard
Every word is in the right place and the result is pure music - De Volkskrant
A devastating novel - Matricule des Anges
A powerful, moving monologue that weaves intimate voices with the history of contemporary Portugal - Livre Hebdo
Dulce Maria Cardoso is a Portuguese writer, who spent her childhood in Luanda, Angola after her parents moved there when she was an infant. Her family returned to Portugal following the Angolan War of Independence in 1975. She studied law at the University of Lisbon and worked as a lawyer before becoming a full-time writer. Her first novel, Campo de Sangue, won the Grand Prize Acontece de Romance, Violeta among the Stars won the EU Prize for Literature and O Chao dos Pardais won the Portuguese Pen Club Award.