Project Description

Rachel de Queiroz Prize 2010Carola Saavedra


Carola Saavedra was born in Chile in 1973 and moved to Brazil at the age of three. She has lived and studied in Spain, France and Germany, where she graduated in media studies. Saavedra is professor and researcher for literature and cultural studies at the Luso-Brazilian Institute at the University of Cologne, Germany. Her novels have been awarded numerous prizes such as Prêmio Rachel de Queiroz or the Prize of the Associação Paulista dos Críticos de Arte. Saavedra was selected as one of the twenty promising new authors in Brazilian literature by Granta magazine.

Carola Saavedra© Carine Wallauer


With Somnolent Weapons. A Bildungsroman

With Somnolent Weapons. A Bildungsroman („Com Armas Sonolentas. Um Romance de Formação“) revolves around three women: Firstly Anna, an aspiring actress of humble origins who sees a German filmmaker as her means of being taken seriously and achieving fame and recognition. Moving to his home village in Germany soon after meeting, reality, exacerbated by not knowing the language, is very different to her expectations. Then there is melancholic Maike, a young German girl who, for no apparent reason, decides to study Portuguese at university to the disgust of her parents, both lawyers. She gradually discovers that her unlikely connection with the language and Brazil is growing stronger. And there is a third character, unnamed, who at the age of fourteen is forced by her mother to leave her home in the interior of Brazil to work as a domestic servant in Rio de Janeiro, where, like so many similar cases, complex relationships will develop in her dealings with her employers.

They are three very distinct, but strongly interconnected, women who experience a growing situation of abandonment and exile – whether geographical or emotional. The journey that each one of them embarks on is a way of “returning home”, in the quest to unveil their true identity.


The Inventory of Missing Things

Carola Saavedra’s new book The Inventory of Missing Things (“O Inventário das Coisas Ausentes”) is a multilayered novel about two lovers, their families and their past. While the protagonist has always been a disappointment to his father, a former resistance fighter during Brazil’s dictatorship, his girlfriend Nina, divorced after a smothering marriage, has a troubled family history dominated by religion and science. When they meet again 14 years after Nina’s surprising departure, they get closer again, but it may be too late. With her characteristically meaningful insinuations and wonderful prose, Saavedra makes this novel a fascinating reading experience.


The Inventory of Missing Things


Landscape with Dromedary

Landscape with Dromedary (“Paisagem com Dromedário”) is a fascinating piece of remembrance and reflection. Withdrawn to a volcanic island, the plastic artist Érika records her thoughts about recent events and memories on tape. It is her attempt to come to terms with her relationship with Alex and figure out who she is without him and their mutual friend Karen, whom they both left behind when she fell terminally ill. In beautiful and concise language, Saavedra questions the traditional idea of relationships and takes the reader to the inner self of an unusual woman.


Landscape with Dromedary


Blue Flowers

In Blue Flowers (“Flores Azuis”), Saavedra tells an ingenious story about a man who undergoes a deep transformation. When the recently divorced Marcos opens some letters addressed to his previous tenant and referring to the end of a love story, his whole life begins to fall apart. The more he feels drawn to the mysterious A. who signs the letters, the more he questions his own relationships to the women around him. And maybe the letters are not reaching him merely by chance after all… Written in refined prose, Blue Flowers plays with what the unsaid can achieve in a very elaborate way.


Blue Flowers


The Mantle of the Night (“O Manto da Noite“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2022, 160 p.

With Somnolent Weapons. A Bildungsroman (”Com Armas Sonolentas. Um Romance de Formação“)
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2018, 272 p.

The Inventory of Missing Things (”O Inventário das Coisas Ausentes“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2014, 128 p.
Chile: Tajamar (Spanish rights for America) 2015

Landscape with Dromedary (”Paisagem com Dromedário“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2010, 168 p.
Prêmio Rachel de Queiroz (young authors), finalist Prêmio São Paulo de Literatura and Prêmio Jabuti 2011
English and Dutch sample translations available
Costa Rica: Ediciones Lanzallamas 2015 · France: Mercure de France 2014 · Germany: C.H. Beck 2013 · Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica 2021

Blue Flowers (”Flores Azuis“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2008, 168 p.
Best Novel Associação Paulista dos Críticos de Arte, finalist Prêmio São Paulo de Literatura and Prêmio Jabuti
English, Spanish and Dutch sample translations available
Chile: Tajamar (Spanish rights for America) · Germany: C.H. Beck 2015 · Portugal: Livros de Seda 2010 · USA: Riverhead (PRH) 2020, Audiobook PRH 2020, pb edition 2021

Every Tuesday (”Toda Terça“)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2007, 160 p.
English sample translation available
Portugal: Livros de Seda 2011

Do Lado de Fora
7Letras 2005, 68 p.

Brazil 25 – 2000-2015 (”Brésil 25 – 2000-2015“)
France: Métailié 2015

Popcorn on Copacabana. Young Brazilian Literature
(”Popcorn an der Copacabana. Junge brasilianische Literatur“)

Germany: Wagenbach 2013

die horen. Brazil (”die horen. Brasilien“)
(Ed. Michi Strausfeld)
Germany: Wallstein 2013

The Black Son of God: 15 Soccer Stories from Brazil (“Der schwarze Sohn Gottes. 15 Fußballgeschichten aus Brasilien”)
(Ed. Luiz Ruffato)
Germany: Assoziation A 2013

Clearings. Brazil (”Lichtungen. Brasilien“)
Graz: Lichtungen 2013

Granta 121: Best of Young Brazilian Novelists
London: Granta 2012
(short story Fragmento de um Romance)

Geração Zero Zero
Brazil: Língua Geral 2012

Essa História Está Diferente. Dez Contos para Canções de Chico Buarque
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2010, 264 p.

Escritores Escritos
Brazil: Editora Flâneur 2010

Um Homem Célebre: Machado Recriado
Brazil: Publifolha 2008

Sam no es mi tío
USA: Alfaguara 2008, 304 p., e-book 2012 (Spanish language)