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Orphans of Eldorado, by Paul Eagles – Bookgeeks.co.uk

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Orphans of Eldorado, by Milton Hatoum Reviewed by Paul Engles on February 12, 2010 www.Bookgeeks.co.uk A tiny Roman numeral at the top of the spine announces (in a whisper) that Orphans of Eldorado is the thirteenth instalment of Canongate’s critically acclaimed Myths series. However, it seems that Canongate have relaxed their branding, as Hatoum’s slim novel is issued as a trade paperback, and a colourful one at that. The decision to publish in paperback has prompted a flurry of angry comments on the novel’s official page on the Myths website, but binding aside, Orphans of Eldorado doesn’t disappoint. The myth that underpins the story concerns Amazonian tales of an enchanted underwater utopian city. Hatoum suggests in his afterword that these stories, which involve people being seduced by dolphins or anacondas and taken down to the riverbed to live an enchanted life, may have been the inspiration for the conquistador’s search for the chimerical golden city of Eldorado. Supernatural rumours and whispers abound in Hatoum’s depiction of early twentieth century Brazil: the novel opens with two vignettes about a man who is strangled by his own enormous penis and a woman who copulates with a male tapir. However, the narrative is […]

London Literature Festival features author Milton Hatoum

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Milton Hatoum is one of Brazil’s greatest writers, with several landmark novels translated into English, including Tale of a Certain Orient and Ashes of the Amazon. His most recent work in translation is Orphans of Eldorado, a re-telling of one of the Amazon’s greatest legends. Milton Hatoum discusses his writing life and takes questions from the audience.

Milton Hatoum – Saturday 17 July 2010, 1:00 pm