Granta-121Carola Saavedra’s “Every Tuesday” (tr. from the Portuguese by Alison Entrekin) is the fifth story in Granta 121: The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists. For an overview of the issue and links to my reviews of its other stories, please click here.

This piece is an excerpt from Saavedra’s novel Toda Terça. It’s understandable why a list of “novelists” would showcase pieces of those authors novels, but it also makes me wary. When I sit to read these, I don’t sit to simply get a sense for the author’s ability. I want something insightful and complete. Well, though this is not complete, “Every Tuesday” is a successful piece in and of itself. It was satisfying while making me want to read the book.

Our narrator, Laura, begins: ‘I lied to you the other day, you know.’ And the man she’s talking to, rather than responding with suspicion, seems to perk up with interest. He wants more. It’s almost as if he feels this is true intimacy:

Otávio didn’t care if I lied; he was convinced that all lies were just another version of the truth.

She goes on to say that she went to the cinema and sat right next to stranger, a handsome man. She goes on to describe this man and that, she doesn’t know why, she started to fall in love with him. Who knows if the story is true. It’s obvious she’s more focused on getting Otávio to respond in some way, some way other than interest in her mental processes.

Projection, dreams, reality — it’s an effective little piece narrated effectively by a disturbed woman, playing games with people who are playing games with her.

I don’t want to discuss it much more because the piece itself is a kind of game, best played if the reader goes in fresh.

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