From Publishers Weekly
A veteran translator of Saramago and Pessoa, Jull Costa delivers Quierós's 1888 masterpiece in a beautiful English version that will become the standard. Rich scion Carlos de Maia—like his best friend, writer João da Ega—is an incorrigible dabbler caught in the enervated Lisbon of the 1870s. His parentage is checkered: Carlos's mother runs off with an Italian, taking his sister, Maria, but leaving Carlos with his father, Pedro, who soon shoots himself. Raised by Pedro's father, Afonso, the adult Carlos returns with a medical degree to live with Afonso in the family's cursed Lisbon compound. His very romantic, very doomed affair with Madame Maria Eduarda Gomes sets in motion a train of coincidences, deftly prefigured, that resonantly entwines Carlos's fate with that of his father and spreads all of Portuguese society before the reader. Quierós has a magisterial sense of social stratification, family and the way eros can make an opera of private life. The novel crystallizes the larger unreality of an incestuous society, one that drifts, even the elite heatedly acknowledge, into decline. The neglect of the big Iberian 19th-century novelists—Galdós, Clarín and Quierós—remains a puzzle. This novel stands with the great achievements of fiction. (July)
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Eça de Queirós bears comparison with Balzac and Flaubert. -- The Sunday Times [London]
Margaret Jull Costa's new translation...is vastly more readable than the other version now available in English. -- Harold Bloom
Queirós is far greater than my own dear master, Flaubert. -- Zola