“The Natural Order of Things . . . reads like William Faulkner or Céline . . . gorgeous . . . bedeviled [and] lyrical . . . a remarkable writer.” The Boston Globe
The Natural Order of Things
978-0-8021-3813-2 • $14.00 • Paperback • June 2001
António Lobo Antunes’s novels have earned him international
recognition as a literary master—called “the foremost Portuguese novelist” by Newsday,
“without doubt the greatest Portuguese writer now living” by Le Monde.
Richly textured and multivocal, The Natural Order of Things is a tale of
two families and the secrets that bind them.
Antunes tells the history of Portugal as “family histories,
tales of power and passion, violent fathers and helpless sons” (Die Zeit,
Hamburg). In The Natural Order of Things, he draws us into a labyrinth
of disparate lives whose connections become clear only gradually. A diabetic
teenage girl in a Lisbon apartment complex is kept awake by the whispered
childhood memories of the middle-aged civil servant lover she despises. Her
father, once a miner in South Africa, is now reduced to dreams of “flying
underground.” An officer in the pre-revolutionary army is tortured in prison on
charges of conspiracy, plagued by memories of his illegitimate sister, locked
away to live as a ghost in the attic like Bertha Rochester in Jane Eyre.
A secret policeman, who has abandoned his sanity to teach hypnotism by
correspondence course, unwittingly holds the key to their secret histories.
Rife with images of startling beauty, The Natural Order of Things
attains the brilliance of Elias Canetti and Nikolai Gogol, entwining the voices
and memories of its characters in a tragicomic portrait of a disintegrating