The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo by Germano Almeida

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New Directions is proud to introduce the masterwork of Cape Verde's greatest living writer, Germano Almeida: an ironic and original tragic-comedy from a new voice in African literature. Everyone in Cape Verde knows Señor da Silva. Successful entrepreneur, owner of the island's first automobile, a most serious, upright, and self-made businessman, Señor da Silva is the local success story. Born an orphan, he never married, he never splurged—one good suit was good enough for him—and he never wandered from the straight and narrow.

Or so everyone thought.

But when Señor da Silva's 387-page Last Will and Testament is read aloud—a marathon task on a hot afternoon which exhausts reader after reader—there's eye-opening news, and not just for the smug nephew so certain of inheriting all Señor da Silva's property.

With his will, Señor da Silva leaves a memoir that is a touching web of elaborate self-deceptions. He desired so ardently to prosper, to be taken seriously, to join (perhaps, if they'll have him) the exclusive Grémio country club, and, most of all, to be a good man. And yet, shady deals, twists of fate, an illegitimate child: such is the lot of poor, self-critical Señor da Silva. A bit like Calvino's Mr. Palomar in his attention to protocol and in his terror of life's passions; a bit like Svevo's Zeno (a little pompous, a little old-fashioned, and often hapless), Señor da Silva moves along a deliciously blurry line between farce and tragedy: a self-important buffoon becomes a fully human, even tragic, figure in the arc of this hilarious and touching novel - translated into Spanish, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, and now, at last, English.


About Germano Almeida

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Germano Almeida is Cape Verde's greatest living writer: a lawyer and a publisher, winner of several prizes, he is the author of five books.
Published June 1, 2004 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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But Almeida repeats essentially similar illustrations of Carlos’s mendacity and of his uncle’s plaintive passing attempts to involve himself in politics (as a nondescript city councilman), become a writer of sorts (“everything that was related to his life was important and worth noting for poster...

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Publishers Weekly

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The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo by Germano Almeida reveals the ostensibly chaste old man's secret tryst with a housekeeper-and the identity of the couple's unsuspecting progeny-before his stunned nephew and heir-apparent and the entire Cape Verdean community.

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