27 June, 2012

Declares Pereira by Antonio Tabucchi (1994)

There is a gradual awakening as you read this fine novel that clues you in on how the story will end, but this only makes the main character, Dr Pereira, more endearing. Set in Salazar's Portugal in 1938, Dr Pereira is a lonely, affable widower working as an editor at a small Lisbon newspaper. Uninterested in politics, he is nonetheless drawn to a left wing resistance group, a dangerous move in a fascist-friendly state. Answering why he takes this risk is central to understanding this deceptively simple novel, something Pereira's actions ultimately illuminate in an unforgettable way.

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