Blank Gaze

by Jose Luis Peixoto

The harsh lives of the inhabitants of an impoverished Portuguese village are played out in this dark tale. Multiple narrative voices lend a poetic, if sometimes claustrophobic, commonality to their experiences. Not always an easy read, but stick with it and you will be rewarded by a beautiful if unusual story of fate, love and death throughout the generations.


Jose wasn't breathing or, if he was breathing, his breath couldn't be distinguished from the almost unbearable breeze of absolute silence. The giant's boots against Jose's prostrate body. The giant's boots against Jose's defenseless body. The giant's boots against the body without body of Jose without Jose. ... When the giant got tired, he went away. The devil vanished, smiling.
Translated by Richard Zenith


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