The Sun on My Head: Stories

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Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.2 X 0.8 X 7.6 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Geovani Martins was born in 1991 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He grew up with his mother in the Rio neighbourhood of Vidigal. He supported his writing by working as a sandwich-board man and selling drinks on the beach, and was discovered during creative writing workshops at Flup, the literary festival of the Rio favelas. The Sun on My Head is his first book. Julia Sanches translates from Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Catalan. She has translated works by Susana Moreira Marques, Noemi Jaffe, Daniel Galera, Claudia Hernández, and Liliana Colanzi, among others. Her work has also appeared in Two Lines, Granta, Tin House, Words Without Borders, and Electric Literature. She is a founding member of the Cedilla & Co. translators' collective, and currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.


A Financial Times Best Book of the Year

"Martins's stories evoke the languor and adrenaline of 13 lives . . . He cultivates a sense of place in the slums beyond their oft-chronicled violence and danger . . . These stories conjure the accumulation of experience that molds the young men, charting their synthesis of resignation and defiance." --Antonia Hitchens, The New York Times Book Review

"[Martins] walks a difficult tightrope with consummate skill: it renders the everyday brutality of favela life with urgency and sensitivity, without ever lapsing into exploitative voyeurism or fetishistic sentimentalism . . . By flitting between domestic and public settings--between familial tenderness and arbitrary violence--Martins subtly foregrounds his protagonists' loss of innocence, showing just how easily entire lives can go awry." --Houman Barekat, The Guardian

"With slang-laden, boldly voiced prose that grounds readers in a unique place, Martins transports readers to the streets and beaches of Rio. In much the way that Edward P. Jones' writing breathes life into the Washington D.C. that lies beyond Pennsylvania Avenue, Martins' stories animate and humanize the people of a city whose humanity is often obscured by its own reputation." --Jason Hess, Booklist

"A love letter not only to Rio de Janeiro and all its ineluctable terrors but an aching appeal to be set free from its grasp . . . Restless, haunting . . . In thirteen phenomenal parables, Martins reminds us not all men are born with a seed of wickedness where a heart should be. That those men were boys first, wistful boys cursed from birth with a life sentence." --Paris Close, Paperback Paris

"Young men contend with the violence and corruption of Rio de Janerio in this tantalizing debut . . . This is a promising work from an intriguing new voice." --Publishers Weekly

"A clutch of stories exploring the perilous and complex inner lives of residents of Rio's favelas. This taut debut collection is mostly populated by young men who've been quickly hardened by the druggy, violent milieu of Brazil's slums, where "sorry's a feeling you get and lose quick," as one narrator puts it . . . Martins' sketches are remarkably powerful . . . A tough-and-tender study of street life." --Kirkus Reviews