Cristina Carvalho

April 2018

Rebellion is Portuguese literary celebrity Cristina Carvalho’s international debut. Born a rebel, Lena escapes her provincial existence and heads for Lisbon as a young woman to make a more exciting life for herself. Once there, though, she makes a series of fateful decisions--spending a night in a brothel, embarking on a marriage she lives to regret, longing instead for the blue-eyed man of her dreams.

Cristina Carvalho was born in Lisbon in 1949, female, an inhabitant of planet Earth and, as it turned out, a writer. Many of her books have been included in Portugal’s National Reading Plan for students at different levels. Her fictional biography of Modigliani (Planeta, 2015) won the Portuguese Society of Authors’ 2016 Prize for best novel and is published in French by Linda Leith Éditions (2018). Rebellion is the first of her books to appear in English. 

Translator Alexandra Andresen Leitão grew up in Lisbon and completed her school and university education in England prior to launching her career as a translator. She has lived in the city of Porto since 1993. Her prodigious memory and cosmopolitan background inform her often incisive writing in numerous subtle ways, as evidenced by her translation of Cristina Carvalho's novel, Rebellion. 

This translation was funded by the General Directorate for Books, Archives and Libraries, Portugal.

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What they say

“A strange and strangely captivating book. More than simply a story with beginning, middle and end, this is a book that seems to trace the lines of two lives—what is and what could be.”—Eduardo Pitta

“Raw and lucid, this novel takes us into that vast territory of female solitude, where women escape from the oppression of men, an escape of aimless resignation without a pair of blue eyes to soothe their pain and despondency […] Women's freedom has never been peaceful terrrain." —António Ganhão 

Rebellion is an exceptionally well written slice-of-life novel by Cristina Carvalho which I read in one sitting, not only because of its elegant narrative, but because of its ability to transport me so completely into the candid normality of this banal existence. — Paulo Mendes Pinto, Visão

“A powerful and unforgettable novel about the limits of violence and freedom.”—Distopia


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