By Antonio Lobo Antunes
Translated by Karen C. Sherwood Sotelino
Set in the aftermath of the “Carnation Revolution” of April 25, 1974, Antonio Lobo Antunes’s Warning to the Crocodiles is a fragmented narrative of the violent tensions resulting from major political changes in Portugal. Told through the memories of four women who spend their days fashioning homemade explosives and participating in the kidnap and torture of communists, the novel details the clandestine activities of an extreme right-wing Salazarist faction resisting the country’s new embrace of democracy.
Warning to the Crocodiles (Exortação aos Crocodilos) has won: Best Novel by the Portuguese Writers Association (Grande Prémio de Romance e Novela da Associação Portuguesa de Escritores) (1999) - The D. Dinis Prize of the Casa de Mateus Foundation (Prémio D. Dinis da Fundação Casa de Mateus) (1999) - The Austrian State Literature Prize (Prémio de Literatura Europeia do Estado Austríaco) (2000).
"Antunes is definitely a writer worth reading for his literary talent and his insights into Portugal's history, geography, and national character." ― Publishers Weekly
"His themes are reminiscent of Faulkner's and Celine's, and his style is as complex as Proust's." ― Library Journal
“He’s been compared to Faulkner, Dos Passos, García Márquez, Céline, Cormac McCarthy, Malcolm Lowry, Proust, Woolf, Canetti, Gogol, Camus, Cortazar, and Nabokov. The real challenge for reviewers is coming up with a new Master of World Literature Antunes hasn’t been compared to.” ― Quarterly Conversation
“Considered by many to be Portugal’s greatest living writer, António Lobo Antunes' relative obscurity in the English-speaking world is something of an enigma....The author of 23 novels, and still...turning them out with unerring industriousness, Lobo Antunes is quite a big deal in Portuguese-, Spanish- and French-speaking countries. He has his illustrious champions too: George Steiner calls him “a novelist of the very first rank…an heir to Conrad and Faulkner;” no less a canon-builder than Harold Bloom says Lobo Antunes is “one of the living writers who will matter most...." ― The Millions
“Lobo Antunes’ sketches are alive with the poetry of the everyday, and tinged with the gentlest of self-mockery.” ― J M Coetzee
"Lobo Antunes, one of the most skillful psychological portraitists writing anywhere, renders the turpitude of an entire society through an impasto of intensely individual voices." ― New Yorker
Antonio Lobo Antunes was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1942. He began writing as a child, but at his father's wishes, went to medical school instead of pursuing a career in writing. After completing his studies, Antunes was sent to Angola with the Portuguese Army. It was in a military hospital in Angola that Antunes first became interested in many of the subjects of his novels. Antunes lives in Lisbon, where he continues to write and practice psychiatry.
Karen C. Sherwood Sotelino (BA Stanford; MA, PhD UC Santa Cruz) was born in San Francisco, California. She has translated novels by Machado de Assis, Raul Brandão, Raduan Nassar, and António Lobo Antunes. She has taught English, Portuguese, and translation at Associação Alumni in São Paulo and Stanford University.