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Tent of Miracles by Jorge Amado

Tent of Miracles (1969)

by Jorge Amado

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339646,402 (3.77)34

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» See also 34 mentions

English (5)  Dutch (1)  All languages (6)
Showing 5 of 5
Looking forward to reading this as I have loved everything else by this author.
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
This novel takes as its theme the strength of the racial mixture that is Brazil, more specifically Bahia, the region to which most of the enslaved Africans were taken -- or, as it was called at end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century when much of the action takes place, miscegenation. It has two, unequal, strands: the story of Pedro Archanjo, a self-educated anthropologist who wrote about the African roots, especially candomblé and racial mixing, of Bahian culture while remaining an important and beloved member of the community, and the story of the modern Bahians who, spurred on by the enthusiasm of a Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University professor for Archanjo's work, embark on the celebration of the centennial of his birth in 1968. The modern section is a broad satire while Archanjo's own story is lively and frequently moving, although unfortunately occasionally a tad too politically didactic. But perhaps that is attributable to the book being written in 1969.

Although Archanjo's story begins with his death (and funeral attended by all the poor people of the community), Amado quickly turns to his birth when the midwife, who arrived after the fact, recognizes him as Ojuobá, the Eyes of Xangô. And Archanjo goes on, through his life, to act as the eyes of the community, recognizing his obligations to the leaders of the ceremonies and participating in them, but also recording what is taking place. The novel is the story of the entire community, and Archango's relationships with a variety of unforgettable characters: with his closest friend Lidio, with whom he collaborates on a whole variety of projects; with a multiplicity of women, primarily Rosa and Doroteia; with his godson Tadeu who is assumed to be his real son; with an aging countess who has a zest for life and the snooty and racist family of Tadeu's fiancée; with the varied professors at the university where he works as a messenger for the medical school and encounters both virulent racists and supporters who help guide his work; and with many more. It is filled with candomblé ceremonies, drinking, bawdiness, and the struggle to survive and be productive. In a way, Archanjo is a symbol of the entire mulitracial, multicultural community and its ongoing struggle to be recognized as the strength of Bahia and Brazil.

I am glad I read the wonderful Showdown before I read this book; although it has its strong points, especially the wonderful characters, it was marred, as noted above, by a tendency towards preachiness and by the modern sections which, while entertaining, couldn't stand up to the story of Archanjo. I will definitely be reading more books by Amado.
2 vote rebeccanyc | Feb 5, 2014 |
An American Professor, from Columbia University, no less, shows up in Bahia, Brazil, pursuing an interest in a deceased Local writer. One level of the book has to do with the tizzy among the local intellectual establishment as they try to concoct background materials that will not offend the great American public. The novel also enters the mind of the deceased writer, as he tries to deal with all the problems and joys that made him the writer he was. There's a great deal of conflict presented here, and good stuff about the difference between the colonized world, and what the colonial power might think "proper' presentation of a local figure. The dead writer is very Brazilian, and really not too acceptable to Mid-America. It's a book about accepting the real, if the reader can do that. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 26, 2013 |
Read this. But not if it is summer; wait until winter and the coldest day of the year and read it then, when it will warm you through and make you fall in love with ritual and words and love and drums. Absolutely beautiful. "Some sorrows can only be cured by suicide or a sonnet."
2 vote atheist_goat | Sep 16, 2008 |
Amado never fails to entertainingly portray the world of Bahia. This work tells of many different goings on surrounding the sacred afro-diasporan religion of candomble. ( )
  lilithdorsey | Apr 16, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jorge Amadoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grechi, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merello, Barbara ShelbyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stavans, IlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 029918644X, Paperback)

The Wisconsin edition is not for sale in the British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), the Republic of Ireland, or South Africa.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:03 -0400)

Explores the life of Pedro Archanjo, a mulatto man who spent his life fighting prejudice.

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