Morning Star (1)

Rage and decay fester in Manaus – Morning Star, 06/05/2002, by Chris Searle

English, Press  

There are some places for every reader, faraway places that may have exerted a mysterious compulsion eve since childhood int hte fantasies of a destant geography lesson. Sometimes, the name of these places are enough, almost by themselves, to draw the imaginaton, almost hypnotically, into an irrational fascination. For me, such a place is the Amazonian city of Manaus, built on the confluence of immense south American rivers in the depths of the rain forest, which was the centre of the rubber boom in the early 20th century that grew through the steam of Brazil's tropical heat and the need of the US motor industy to find tyres for its cars. The Brothes has its setting in Manaus, but, int the years following its precocious prosperity, in the post-war era leading up to and beyond the 1964 military coup in Brazil. It is a family story, in particular, the story  of a Lebanese immigrant family. Halim is an ex-pedlar, struggling to maintaiin dry goods store in the decaying riverside harbour. In the pre-war years, in the wake of the city rubber ascendancy, he marries Zana, the daughter of a Brazilian Maronite Christian family. From the union of these two ardent lovers, […]