Depois de Morrer Aconteceram-me Muitas Coisas (Lots Happened to Me After I Died), by Ricardo Adolfo, has been selected as the first and leading title in Portuguese language to be published by Alfaguara Portugal/Editora Objectiva, the Portuguese trade division of Santillana Group (Spain) to be launched next September 16th 2009.
“From Amsterdam, where he lives, young Portuguese writer Ricardo Adolfo observes his country with fierce and slashing irony. Only from afar can you see this close. A writer that Portugal needs to discover.” José Eduardo Agualusa -Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2007
“The new Portuguese literature has to go through here.” Valter Hugo Mãe - Winner of the José Saramago Literary Award 2007
A young couple and their son, recently arrived illegal immigrants in a big city, are left stranded halfway home when their tube train breaks down. It soon becomes clear they don’t know any alternative route home – and nor can they ask for help as they don’t speak a word of the local language.
Confused, they walk through streets carrying their son inside a newly bought suitcase that doubles as a pram. By turns they are chased by two frightened women in hijab, abandoned by a runaway bus driver, robbed by a gang of street kids, and finally end up stealing a spare sleeping bag from a homeless man. The family’s traditional Sunday outing around the shopping streets – streets littered with bankruptcies and boarded-up façades – becomes a 24-hour marathon of revelations and confrontations that could make the couple inseparable, or could tear them apart.
Narrated by the husband, a loner locked inside his own mind, who believes that to make a good decision he has to do just the opposite of what he thinks is right, the novel explores the internal fight of someone forced into seclusion because he is unable to communicate with the world around him.
Combining a fast-paced narrative, quirky dialogues and a strong visual sense with an unflinching social conscience, Lots Happened to Me After I Died exposes the struggle of ‘internal’ immigration – much more overwhelming than any physical displacement.
Ricardo Adolfo is an Angolan-born Portuguese writer. Currently he is based between London and Amsterdam. In 2006 Dom Quixote published his debut novel Mizé. Mizé was very well received in Portugal and has subsequently been translated into Spanish (Suma) under the title of La peluquera de Lisboa, German (Berlin Verlag/Bloomsbury Berlin) and Dutch (Querido). In 2007 he co-created the short film There’s Only One Sun with award-winning director Wong Kar-Wai.
Adolfo is currently working on a new novel and on “Stella” (the film adaptation of “Mizé”) to be directed by Margaret Williams and produced by MJW Productions.
Lots Happened to Me After I Died is Ricardo’s third book and continues to explore some of the author’s favourite themes, such as the mixture between the banal and the uncanny, and the peaks of tension in the ordinary and mundane.
His work has been praised for its “…maverick writing, sober and elevated, with an amazingly fine-tuned sense of oral syntax. The dialogue is perfect. Nothing in literature is harder than ‘natural dialogue’…” Fernando Venâncio, writer and critic.
Praise for ‘Mizé’:
* The entire book is a fast-paced pleasure, silly, strange and with street-tough mean. Just take the scene where Palha drives around town desperately looking for a parking spot, the chaos and the traffic jams and the horns honking, the hectic pace and the sweat and the nerves fraying. The book is a party with popcorn and soda and blowing up paper bags on the balcony just to smash them with a big bang to scare the passers-by into hiding behind their briefcases. “Glanz und Elend”, Ingrid Mylo (Germany)
* Sublime reading pleasure; a Portuguese who writes books like Almodóvar makes movies! - “Neon” (Germany)
* A coherent, naturalistic novel about dreams and disillusionment has a slow start but picks up real speed and finally convinces. Anselm Brakhage (Germany)
* This is all very coherently told and enjoyable to read. The argot fits and the supporting characters are refreshingly real. The local coloring make the liveliness perfect – one can well imagine a Lisbon suburbs to be as portrayed. And the double standard of the porn movie consumers suddenly full of disgust at the participation of one of their wives in such a movie is very well crafted ... this is a great match! “Titel” (Germany)
* A debut full of sparkling dialogue and unexpected twists.” Standaart, (Belgium)* With a sarcastic sense of humor, Mizé is a book you would like to read in one go.” Fok.nl, (The Netherlands)