I Didn't Talk: Book summary and reviews of I Didn't Talk by Beatriz Bracher

I Didn't Talk

by Beatriz Bracher

I Didn't Talk by Beatriz Bracher X
I Didn't Talk by Beatriz Bracher
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Book Summary

The English-language debut of a master stylist: a compassionate but relentless novel about the long, dark harvest of Brazil's totalitarian rule.

A professor prepares to retire - Gustavo is set to move from Sao Paulo to the countryside, but it isn't the urban violence he's fleeing: what he fears most is the violence of his memory. But as he sorts out his papers, the ghosts arrive in full force. He was arrested in 1970 with his brother-in-law Armando: both were vicariously tortured. He was eventually released; Armando was killed. No one is certain that he didn't turn traitor: I didn't talk, he tells himself, yet guilt is his lifelong harvest.

I Didn't Talk pits everyone against the protagonist - especially his own brother. The torture never ends, despite his bones having healed and his teeth having been replaced. And to make matters worse, certain details from his shattered memory don't quite add up... Beatriz Bracher depicts a life where the temperature is lower, there is no music, and much is out of view. I Didn't Talk's pariah's-eye-view of the forgotten "small" victims powerfully bears witness to their "internal exile." I didn't talk, Gustavo tells himself; and as Bracher honors his endless pain, what burns this tour de force so indelibly in the reader's mind is her intensely controlled voice.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] brilliant, enigmatic rumination of a novel...Bracher is a force to be reckoned with and has crafted a haunting, powerful novel." - Publishers Weekly

"An arresting work, told in stringently beautiful prose; for all smart sophisticated readers." - Library Journal

"A slender but memorable contribution to the literature of crime and (sometimes self-inflicted) punishment." - Kirkus

"Beatriz Bracher: intense and precise." - Folha de S.Paulo

"Crisp, dizzying." - Jornal do Brasil

"Extraordinary force and beauty - also a reflection on the construction of memory and the power of the tale." - O Estado de S. Paulo

This information about I Didn't Talk was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Beatriz Bracher

Beatriz Bracher, born in Sao Paulo in 1961, grew up under the Brazilian military dictatorship. Her memories of that time intersect with the lives of people whose friends and lovers were tortured, exiled, and killed, as well as with those who did the killing. An editor, screenwriter, and the author of six books of fiction, Bracher has won three of Brazil's most prestigious literary awards: the Clarice Lispector Prize, the Rio Prize, and the Sao Paulo Prize.

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