In the early morning of March 31, 1970 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the annual birthday celebration of a prominent and wealthy young artist is taking place, and a train docked in Plaza Station filled with starving, drought-stricken migrant workers...
Early morning, March 31, 1970, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil: a famous, wealthy young artist is having a birthday party. Across town, a train full of starving, drought-stricken migrant workers gets turned away at Plaza Station, and a riot ignites. From these two seemingly unrelated events, Ivan Ângelo's remarkable novel connects and implicates the lives of a complex of characters, spanning three decades of tumultuous social and political history in twentieth-century Brazil. But with the central event – the celebration – missing, the reader is forced into the roles of historian and detective, and has to reconstruct the story from scraps of comedy, falsehood, eeriness, and tragedy.
Reading Ivan Ângelo's The Celebration by Theodore McDermott, originally in CONTEXT #19
Ivan Ângelo (born 1936) is a novelist and journalist from Minas Gerais, Brazil who has, among his other work, edited the São Paulo newspaper Jornal da Tarde, written a column for the magazine Veja, and lectured at Yale. The Celebration won the 1975 Prêmio Jabuti, one of Brazil’s best-known literary prizes.