(Will update with Falcão’s analysis on the current state of affairs in Brazil)
Vultures in the Living Room will be distributed internationally in mid-June.
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VULTURES IN THE LIVING ROOM, BY LULA FALCÃO
PRESS RELEASE: Daniel Osieck interviews Lula Falcão live May 5 2021
Falcão spoke with Brazilian literary critic Daniel Osiecki during his weekly Viva Literatura program about the very moment he thought he’d become a writer: it was in 1964, when news arrived of the military coup, which forced his father to immediately strike a match and set the entire family library on fire. Book-lovers, intellectuals, artists, students, became enemies of the state.
“From Lenin to (Pope) John XXII, we burned everything,” said Falcão, describing his father’s attempt to save his own neck in the days following the coup. “My father was an Atheist but he loved John XXIII,” he added. A Communist and intellectual, Falcão said his father was a voracious reader of Russian literature, sharing his devotion early on with his son.
Disappearing for six months into the mythical Sertão, the semi-arid Brazilian outback, his father later re-emerged to a country ravaged by the ultra-nationalist, U.S.-backed regime. The “Led Years” ensued, and echoes of the torture chambers resonated through every corner, a dark, overhanging cloud of horror became stationary for many years to come. That eeriness, against a backdrop of our paradisiacal tropics, has given birth to this very contemporary narrative we associate with Falcão.
Lula is a newspaperman, a product of clacking and chaos of the Diario de Pernambuco newsroom, as he told his host. Having been there, I can attest it was like stepping into a film noir, where most of the editorial decisions were made at the downstairs bar. He opened up about his extra-curricular activities during the military dictatorship: “In the daytime I was a newspaperman, but I was also working for the “movement” clandestinely.”
Here are some translated quotes from the interview:
“I place my characters in completely absurd situations from the standpoint of physics, they traffic through a disturbed natural landscape.”
“I have no ritual and I try to have an undisciplined approach. In the old days, I used to think that I could only write if I heard newsroom noises, those newsroom noises were something phenomenal, I began noticing that I was distancing myself from journalism when those noises began disappearing. And as I left the noise of the newsrooms, the noise also left the newsrooms. Today newsrooms sound like intensive care units, incredibly quiet… in the old days we would shout, smoke… even when computers arrived, but suddenly, newsrooms became smaller, more quiet…”
“ I don’t try to be fantastical in my stories. They are stories sometimes set in a dystopian environment, sometimes in a distorted in environment, sometimes in an environment that seems apparently normal…our reality now shows that anything could happen, may happen, could have happened.”