Above the Sea

Above the Sea
Fecha de publicación: 
10 June 2023
Imagen principal: 

Bestowed with the 2019 Casa de las Américas Award in the category of Brazilian literature, Deborah Dornellas’ novel Por encima del mar (Above the Sea), takes us to a journey full of “saudade,” a difficult term to translate, a sort of intense longing and sadness.

But no one should expect to find in the book overemotional passages. The stories narrated by the author can get quite stark, calling a spade a spade. And it portrays a converging point for several Brazilian black women, or from elsewhere.

The protagonist reels off memories that end up recreating a vivid and nuanced fresco of her life... and at the same time, as Lilia Guerra points out in the presentation note, "what she does is to give a voice to thousands of black girls and women. I myself am one of them. During the reading, I found my own memories in the stories. The recollections of black women are not surprising. Common events are repeated in all of us because we carry the same history."

And yet, this is not a didactic work, nor is it explicitly vindictive. Guerra affirms: "The author presents intense characters and does not hide their wounds. But at the same time, she leads to heal them so that they can help us when the pain grows stronger. She creates spaces for rest, inserts encouraging pauses, moments of protection. This is a book to be revisited."

The book is on sale in the Casa de las Américas network of bookshops and sales points.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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