What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire?

A Novel

António Lobo Antunes (Author), Gregory Rabassa (Translator)

Overview | Inside the Book

A soaring, symphonic epic by the Portuguese master novelist, considered to be the "heir to Conrad and Faulkner" (George Steiner).

The razor-thin line between reality and madness is transgressed in this Faulknerian masterpiece, António Lobo Antunes's first novel to appear in English in five years. What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire?, set in the steamy world of Lisbon's demimonde—a nightclub milieu of scorching intensity and kaleidoscopic beauty, a baleful planet populated by drag queens, clowns, and drug addicts—is narrated by Paolo, the son of Lisbon's most legendary transvestite, who searches for his own identity as he recalls the harrowing death of his father, Carlos; the life of Carlos's lover, Rui, a heroin addict and suicide; as well as the other denizens of this hallucinatory world. Psychologically penetrating, pregnant with literary symbolism, and deeply sympathetic in its depiction of society's dregs, Lobo Antunes's novel ventriloquizes the voices of the damned in a poetic masterwork that recalls Joyce's Ulysses with a dizzying farrago of urban images few readers will forget.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2008
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32948-3
  • 5.6 × 8.2 in / 480 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Also by António Lobo Antunes All

  1. Book CoverThe Fat Man and Infinity: And Other Writings


  2. Book CoverThe Land at the End of the World: A Novel


Also by Gregory Rabassa All

  1. Book CoverTaratuta and Still Life with Pipe: Two Novellas


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