The Seamstress: A Novel

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9780060738884: The Seamstress: A Novel

Winner of the Friends of American Writers Award for Fiction

As seamstresses, the young sisters Emília and Luzia dos Santos know how to cut, mend, and conceal—useful skills in the lawless backcountry of Brazil, where ruthless land barons feud with bands of outlaw cangaceiros, trapping innocent residents in the crossfire. Emília, a naive romantic, dreams of falling in love with a gentleman and escaping to a big city. Quick-tempered Luzia also longs for escape, finding it in her craft and secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life. But when Luzia is abducted by cangaceiros led by the infamous Hawk and Emília stumbles into a marriage with the son of a wealthy and politically powerful doctor, the sisters' quiet lives diverge in ways they never would have imagined.

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About the Author:

Frances de Pontes Peebles's short stories have appeared in Indiana Review, Zoetrope: All-Story, and the collection O. Henry Prize Stories, 2005. Born in Pernambuco, Brazil, she is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She divides her time between Brazil and Miami.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Two orphaned sisters grow up in a small town in northeastern Brazil. Emilia, the elder, reads fashion magazines and dreams of a life of refinement. Luzia, the younger, is partially crippled, and wilder. Both are taught to sew by their aunt Sofia, and later they put their skills to very different uses. Emilia impulsively marries the son of a wealthy doctor and escapes to Recife, where her dressmaking talents earn her an atelier and grudging acceptance by the upper crust. Luzia is carried off by the bandit Hawk and his cangaceiros, who roam the scrubland in search of money and food, and she gains notoriety as a female outlaw called “the Seamstress.” Set during the 1930s, when Brazil was beset by political instability and natural disaster, the narrative weaves back and forth between Luzia’s brutal life, accounts of which Emilia sometimes reads in the newspapers, and Emilia’s comfortable but empty existence, which Luzia sees depicted in out-of-date society pages. Though it’s overlong, this impressive first novel seduces with its sweeping story, strong characterization, and extraordinarily vivid detail. A good read-alike for fans of Isabel Allende. --Mary Ellen Quinn

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the Friends of American Writers Award for Fiction As seamstresses, the young sisters Emilia and Luzia dos Santos know how to cut, mend, and conceal--useful skills in the lawless backcountry of Brazil, where ruthless land barons feud with bands of outlaw cangaceiros, trapping innocent residents in the crossfire. Emilia, a naive romantic, dreams of falling in love with a gentleman and escaping to a big city. Quick-tempered Luzia also longs for escape, finding it in her craft and secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life. But when Luzia is abducted by cangaceiros led by the infamous Hawk and Emilia stumbles into a marriage with the son of a wealthy and politically powerful doctor, the sisters quiet lives diverge in ways they never would have imagined. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060738884

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the Friends of American Writers Award for Fiction As seamstresses, the young sisters Emilia and Luzia dos Santos know how to cut, mend, and conceal--useful skills in the lawless backcountry of Brazil, where ruthless land barons feud with bands of outlaw cangaceiros, trapping innocent residents in the crossfire. Emilia, a naive romantic, dreams of falling in love with a gentleman and escaping to a big city. Quick-tempered Luzia also longs for escape, finding it in her craft and secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life. But when Luzia is abducted by cangaceiros led by the infamous Hawk and Emilia stumbles into a marriage with the son of a wealthy and politically powerful doctor, the sisters quiet lives diverge in ways they never would have imagined. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060738884

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