Tieta : the Goat Girl, or, the Return of the Prodigal Daughter : a Melodramatic Serial Novel in Five Sensational Episodes, With a Touching Epilogue: Thrills and Suspense! By Jorge Amado ; Translated From the Portuguese by Barbara Shelby Merello.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1979. Stated "First American Edition" on the copyright page. Hardcover. 671 pages ; 22 cm. $12.95 dust jacket. Very good + copy with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
In the delectable tradition of Jorge Amado's spirited, sexy, adorable heroines—Dona Flor and Gabriela among them—here is Tieta, lustrous, sparkling, a thorough Brazilian beauty. At forty-four a widow, a vision of feminine charm and modernity, she takes the town by storm— her native town of Agreste in Bahia, to which she has just returned after a twenty-six-year absence. She is amiable, talkative, generous. And she is rich. She has been—her family doesn't know, no one in Agreste knows—the madam of a splendid brothel frequented by tycoons, politicos, men of power. And when an unscrupulous industrial giant plots to build a factory that will certainly pollute Tieta's lovely demi-paradisal birthplace, her Big Political Connections stand her in good stead—a boon to her fellow townspeople.
The intrigues that follow, entangling virtually the entire (high and low) population of Agreste, are in counterpoint to Tieta's own tender idyll with her innocent seminarian nephew, Ricardo, as well as the whirling flirtations of the young 'stepdaughter" she has brought back with her from Sao Paulo. All is told in the uniquely exhilarating Amado manner—comic and moving, bawdy and sweet. And by the time the facts of Tieta's checkered past slip out, and the hounds of propriety (and greed) are baying at her heels, she has become so dear to the reader, it seems unthinkable that her adventures should come to anything short of a completely satisfactory (if not, perhaps, altogether respectable) conclusion!
Jorge Amado's witty and robust delight in the human comedy, his tenderness for the human creature, and his exuberant storytelling gifts have combined to make him Brazil's best-loved novelist and—ever since the publication in some thirty languages of Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon—a writer of international repute. He was born in Brazil in 1912, and his first novel, Cacau, published when he was nineteen, had at its core the passion for social justice that underlies even the most joyous of his many later works. The present novel is his ninth to be published by Knopf. With his wife, Zelia, Amado makes his home in Salvador—in his native state of Bahia, which is also the home of Gabriela, of Dona Flor (whose adventures with her Two Husbands have recently been seen in a film and a musical comedy), of Tereza Batista, and now of the latest in his succession of uniquely entrancing heroines, Tieta of Agreste.
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