The Biography of Elizabeth I, short stories and fiction make up the reading recommendations for the Unmissable Series. Check out.
Lydia Davis, Translation by Julian Fuks, José Olympio, 210 pages
A woman tries to write a book while putting together pieces of memory of her lover, also a writer, 12 years her junior, whom she met at the college where she taught. The difficulty in ending her obsession coincides with the difficulty in finishing the book.
“I wasn't the same with him as I was with other people. I tried not to be as determined, as busy, as hurried as I was alone and with friends. I tried to be gentle and silent, but it was hard, and it confused me. It also exhausted me.”
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2013, the American Davis is one of the best short-story writers of our time. She has published six books of short stories. This is her only novel. She is also a translator for Proust and Flaubert.
The Definition of Love
Jorge Reis-Sá, Tordesillas, 253 pages
Connected to a machine in the hospital bed after suffering a stroke, Suzana is 12 weeks pregnant. Francisco, her husband, decides not to terminate the pregnancy and writes a mourning diary while waiting for the baby to be born. In a poetic and fragmented style, he remembers his married life and tries to imagine a future without his beloved.
“I deny the empty side of the bed. I look at it and I don't see it. I take pillows from the closet and, placing them under the sheets, covering their heads as she did so many times after putting down her reading, I keep the light on so that she is by my side, preventing me from sleeping.”
The Portuguese Jorge Reis-Sá has a background in biology. He released the poems of Instituto de Antropologia, the book of short stories Terra and the novels Every day e Or Sun.
JMCoetzee, Translation by José Rubens Siqueira, Companhia das Letras, 144 pages
After a mutiny that forces her to abandon ship, Susan Barton manages to reach an island, where she encounters a man named Cruso and his slave Friday. Back in England, she seeks out the writer Daniel Foe so that he can tell his story in a book. Only Foe, much to her dismay, isn't very attached to facts.
“I tell myself that I talk to Friday to educate him, to get him out of the dark and the silence. But will it be true? There are times when benevolence leaves me, and I use words only as the shortest means to subject you to my will.”
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003, South African Coetzee, 76, also won two Man Booker Prizes. He has published more than 20 books, including novels, essays, literary criticism and memoirs.
Elizabeth I: A Biography
Lisa Hilton, Translated by Paulo Geiger, Zahar, 399 pages
“When Princess Princess Elizabeth woke up in the nursery, the entire landscape of her childhood had changed imperceptibly but irrevocably. Her mother, Queen Anne, had died the previous morning (…), her head ripped from her body by the swinging blade of a French swordsman”
The English Hilton studied Art History in Florence and Paris. She has several books published and collaborates to The New Yorker, The Times, Spindrift e BBC History Magazine.