My German Brother

My German Brother

3.72 (1,302 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 
3.72 (1,302 ratings by Goodreads)

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Ciccio already has many problems: romantic failure, an older brother who seems intent on breaking the heart of every beautiful woman in Sao Paulo, a distant and larger-than-life father. When Ciccio finds, among the many of his father's books that line the walls of their house, a troubling letter dated 'December 21, 1931. Berlin', his existential crisis only intensifies.

It seems that his father once had a child with another woman - a German son whose fate remains unclear. Ciccio sets out on a mission to locate his lost half-brother, and to win the respect of his father. But as Brazil's military government cracks down on dissent, and rumours of arrests and disappearances spread, while Ciccio has been out looking for his German brother, he finds that he has taken his eye off his immediate family...

In writing My German Brother, acclaimed Brazilian novelist and musician Chico Buarque was driven by the desire to find out what happened to his own German half-brother - whether he survived the war in a bomb-ravaged Berlin, whether he had joined the ranks of the Hitler Youth. His novel has been a project of a lifetime, one that makes use of what happened, what might have happened, and pure imagination, in order to weave together the threads of narrative and arrive at a truth.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 22mm | 397g
  • Picador
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1509806458
  • 9781509806454
  • 1,262,725

Review quote

[Chico Buarque] has developed into an intriguing and inventive novelist . . . The language of My German Brother is musical and serpentine, as he unravels a tale that is part historical mystery, part intellectual and sexual coming-of-age. * Vanity Fair * My German Brother, is a fascinating, shape-shifting piece of autofiction . . . There's more than a whiff of Sebald to this potent, meandering mixture of text and image, fact and fiction. * Telegraph * [A] poignant exploration of the past that lies tucked away between the pages of musty books, revealing that our parents had lives before we were born. * Kirkus *
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About Chico Buarque

Born 1944 in Rio de Janeiro, Chico Buarque is a singer, guitarist, composer, dramatist, writer and poet. Although he first made his name as a musician, in 1968 Buarque was imprisoned by the Brazilian dictatorship for writing and composing the existential play Roda Viva. During the 1970s and 1980s, he collaborated with other artists in protest against the dictatorship. He is the author of numerous novels; in 2010 Spilt Milk won both of Brazil's leading literary prizes, the Premio Jabuti and the Premio Portugal Telecom. He lives in Rio de Janeiro.

Praise for Chico Buarque:

'Chico Buarque is at the forefront of a wave of writing that should make you rethink everything you thought you knew about South American literature' Jonathan Franzen

'One of the outstanding Brazilian novelists of our time' Financial Times

'Try to imagine that Bob Dylan and Ian McEwan were the same person. That is Buarque' Sunday Times

'Chico Buarque has crossed a chasm with his writing, and arrived at the other side. To the side where one finds work executed with mastery' Jose Saramago
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Rating details

1,302 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 21% (270)
4 39% (513)
3 32% (420)
2 6% (81)
1 1% (18)
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