Project Description

Océanos Prize 2016José Luís Peixoto


José Luís Peixoto was born in Galveias in 1974. He has a degree in modern languages and literature from the Universidade Nova in Lisbon. His literary work has been translated into twenty languages so far. He has received many distinctions and prestigious awards, among others the José Saramago Prize 2001 and the Libro d’Europa Award 2010, and he was shortlisted for the Portugal Telecom Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Femina Prize. 2016 his latest novel GALVEIAS, which sold already over 30,000 copies in Portugal, has won the prestigious Prémio Oceanos 2016 (formerly: Portugal Telecom), Brazilian literary award for works in Portuguese language. José Luís Peixoto is one of Portugal’s most acclaimed and bestselling contemporary novelists.

»He‘s a man who knows how to write and who is the successor to the great writers.« José Saramago

Please also visit the author’s website: >

José Luís Peixoto© Patricia Santos Pinto


Sunday Lunch

Peixoto’s new novel Sunday Lunch (“Almoço de Domingo”) is a tribute to the Portuguese entrepreneur Rui Nabeiro, founder of the Delta Cafés, who celebrated his ninetieth birthday on 28 March 2021.
With great poetic power, the author traces the life of a man who wanted to become “a rich man of a different kind” and who today is a symbol of entrepreneurial commitment. Coming from the simplest of backgrounds and growing up in the small town of Campo Maior in the Alto Alentejo near the Spanish border, he succeeds in developing the small family business into an internationally operating corporate empire without sacrificing his humanity. Peixoto accompanies his protagonist through the two days before and on his birthday itself and lets individual episodes of his career emerge in short flashbacks. But “Sunday Lunch” is far more than just a biographical novel.
Written with genuine empathy, the book is a reflection on old age and death, on the uniqueness of every human being, but above all it is a celebration of a successful life whose richness is expressed less in the material than in the spiritual.



In Lisbon in the late 1990s, two writers meet: the young José in his early 30s, in the midst of a life crisis, and the established José Saramago at the height of his career. Following his debut, the young José is now expected to write a second novel, but he can‘t make any progress and is addicted to alcohol and gambling. He has enormous debts and agrees to write a Saramago biography, even if he finds his books rather long and difficult. Saramago himself is interested in the author of his biography and is ready for interviews. From this relationship, a story is born that mixes reality and fiction. While the main plot is heading towards the announcement of Saramago being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on 8 October 1998, the young José, true to a statement by the Portuguese intellectual that all writing is autobiographical, is increasingly merging with his subject. Peixoto leads the reader into a cabinet of mirrors from which there is no escape.




The Imperfect Path

Between Bangkok and Las Vegas, José Luís Peixoto returns to non-fiction with an astonishing, layered book of unforeseen relationships, moving from the most intimate account to the most remote and exuberant of descriptions. The Imperfect Path (“O Caminho Imperfeito”) is itself the long journey to a Thailand beyond the normal tourist haunts, exploring lesser known aspects of its culture, society, history and religion, among many others. The sinister discovery of several parcels containing parts of a human body at a post office in Bangkok cause, with unpredictable consequences, his wanderings to become an ordeal. Every episode of this eccentric investigation forms “The Imperfect Path” and, at the same time, constitutes a search for the meaning of travel, writing, and life itself.


In Your Belly

In his new novel In Your Belly (“Em Teu Ventre”), José Luís Peixoto addresses one of the defining religious events of the 20th century: the appearance of the Virgin Mary before the eyes of three children in the Portuguese village of Fátima in 1917. After lengthy interviews, the Catholic Church recognized this miracle, turning Fátima into a place of worldwide pilgrimage. But what is behind the phenomenon? Peixoto is interested in people, and so he chooses the ten-year-old Lúcia as the protagonist of his novel. She is the youngest of five children and therefore especially dear to her mother Maria’s heart. Although piously educated, Lúcia is a very headstrong and dreamy girl. For her, the arrival of the Madonna means a sudden end of her childhood and separation from her birth mother. Situated between Christian mysticism and historical research, Em Teu Ventre is a piece of fictional biography of the figure of Sister Lúcia, now revered as a saint in Portugal. Without deciding between reason and superstition, the novel is an ode to both the freedom of faith and the love between mother and child.



The sleepy village of Galveias is home to both long-established families with their rivalries and feuds, like the brothers José and Justino who fell out over their inheritance and haven’t spoken for over fifty years, and newcomers like Isabella, the beautiful Brazilian who runs the bakery that, at night, also functions as a brothel. After the village is struck by some sort of mysterious meteor, the bread starts tasting of sulphur, relationships are reshaped and a series of events is set in motion: it stops raining for nine months; the two brothers are finally reconciled with each other and with their past; Isabella is mistaken for a cork thief and accidentally shot. Then finally a baby girl who doesn’t smell of sulphur is born, and the spell is broken. This beautifully written novel is brimming with astute observations and depictions of human behaviour, of life itself and how it is shaped and changed. The characters that inhabit the captivating microcosm of Galveias inevitably draw the reader in with their intertwining stories that come together as one.





Book (“Livro”) confirms José Luís Peixoto as one of the leading contemporary Portuguese novelists, and also as an author of increasing importance on the international literary scene. This book chooses as its backdrop the extraordinary saga of Portuguese emigration to France, told through a gallery of unforgettable characters and the luminous writing of José Luís Peixoto. From a village in Portugal to Paris, and from popular culture to the most erudite of literary references, are revealed to us the traces of a past that took thousands of Portuguese in search of better conditions and a future of dual nationality. Overwhelming and striking, Book exposes the magnitude of the dream and the rawness, ironic, tender or grotesque, of reality. Through stories of lives, meetings and farewells, the reader is led to a disconcerting ending beyond the frontiers of literature.




All the Writers of the World Have Their Heads Full of Lice

What is this permanent itch on the head of every writer in the world? No anti-lice shampoo can soothe it. This widespread affliction makes the headlines of every newspaper and intrigues readers of this and every other book in existence. It is only when the protagonists of children´s books undertake the journey to enter the heads and creative minds of the itching authors that they make a great discovery: there are no lice! The itch that the authors have been feeling are new ideas, stories and characters. The itch won´t be relieved by shampoos or shaving, but it can be treated by expressing the authors´ creativity!
All the Writers of the World Have Their Heads Full of Lice (“Todos os Escritores do Mundo Têm a Cabeça Cheia de Piolhos“) is a beautifully written and illustrated book that focusses on the joy of writing and reading. It sparks young readers´ interest in creativity and upholds imagination as a great gift and important element of human life.


The Mother That Rained

The protagonist of José Luís Peixoto’s first children’s book is a child of the rain. With such a unique mother, so necessary to everyone, he has to learn to share with the world the thing that is most important to him: maternal love. With exceptional tenderness, poetry and disarming simplicity, The Mother That Rained (“A Mãe Que Chovia”) honours and exalts one of nature’s most powerful forces: the unconditional love of mothers.


Sunday Lunch (“Almoço de Domingo”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2021, 264 p.
Over 50,000 copies sold in Portugal
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2023 · Croatia: Bozicevic · German: Septime · Poland: Wiele Kropek · Slovenia: Portugalsky ·  Spain: Literatura Random House 2023

Autobiography (“Autobiografia”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2019, 300 p.
Brazil: TAG 2019, Companhia das Letras 2021· Egypt: Al Arabi · Finland: Aviador · Romania: Pandora Publishing 2020 · Spain: Literatura Random House 2020

In Your Belly (“Em Teu Ventre”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2015, 165 p.
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2017 · Spain: Literatura Random House 2017 · Venezuela: bid & co

Lisbon: Quetzal 2014, 280 p.
Complete English translation available (Portugal: Tell a Story)
Over 30,000 copies sold in Portugal
Prémio Oceanos 2016
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2015 · Colombia: Tragaluz (Colombian rights) · China: Foreign Language · Croatia: Bozicevic · Czech Republic: Smrst 2017 · Egypt: Al Arabi 2017 · France: Seuil 2017 · Georgia: Bakur Sulakauri 2017 · German: Septime 2021 · Greece: Kedros 2016 · Japan: Shinchosha 2018 · Romania: Pandora Publishing · Slovenia: Beletrina 2023 · Spain: Literatura Random House 2016· Thailand: Typhoon Studio 2020

Book (“Livro”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2010, 264 p.
Libro d’Europa Award 2010 (Italy)
Shortlisted for the Femina Award 2010 (France)
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2012 · Bulgaria: Sevtulka 44 · Croatia: Bozicevic 2016 · France: Grasset 2012 · Greece: Kedros 2015 · Italy: Einaudi 2013, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale 2019 · Macedonia: Antolog 2024 · Mexico: Arlequín 2018 · Poland: Swiat Ksiazki 2018 · Serbia: Kontrast · Spain: El Aleph 2011

Hoje Não
Vila Nova de Famalicão: Quasi 2007, 161 p.
Croatia: Edicije Božičević

The Piano Cemetery (“Cemitério de Pianos”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2006, 288 p.
Cálamo Award for the best translated novel published in Spain 2007
Brazil: Record 2008 · Croatia: Edicije Božičević · Egypt: Al Arabi 2016 · France: Grasset 2008, Folio/Gallimard pb 2009 · German: Septime 2017 · Greece: Ellinika Grammata 2009 · Israel: Kineret 2011 · Italy: Einaudi 2010 · Mexico: Arlequín 2018 · The Netherlands: Meulenhoff 2008 · Romania: Polirom 2010 · Spain: El Aleph 2007 (avail.), pb 2008 · Thailand: Library House · UK: Bloomsbury 2010, Bloomsbury pb 2011 · Uruguay: HUM 2016

A House in Darkness (“Uma Casa na Escuridão”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2002, 256 p.
Brazil: Record 2009 · France: Grasset 2006 · Germany: Septime 2015 · Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2004 · Spain: El Aleph 2008 (avail.)

Blank Gaze (“Nenhum Olhar”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2000, 224 p.
Complete English translation available
José Saramago Literary Award 2001
Selected by the Financial Times as one of their best books 2007; part of ‘Discover Great new writer’ selection by Barnes & Noble in the USA; selected by expresso (Portugal) as one of their 10 best books of the decade
Albania: Ombra GVG · Armenia: Vernatun Publishing · Belarus: Vsemirnaja literature 2006 · Brazil: Agir/Ediouro 2005, Dublinense 2018 · Bulgaria: Pet Plus 2006, Ergo Publishing House 2024 · Colombia: Ediciones Uniandes · Croatia: V.B.Z. 2004 · Czech Republic: Barrister 2004 · Estonia: SA Kultuurileht · Poland: Prószyński i S-ka 2008 · Finland: Wsoy 2005 · France: Grasset 2003 · Hungary: Europa 2007 · Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2002 · Japan: Gendaikikakushitsu 2022 · Mexico: Arlequín 2017 · The Netherlands: Meulenhoff 2003 · Peru: Cascahuesos · Romania: Polirom 2009 · Spain: Hiru 2001, El Aleph 2009 (avail.) · Turkey: Arkadas 2005 · UK: Bloomsbury 2007 · USA: Doubleday 2008, Anchor pb 2009 · Bangladesh: Kagoj Prokashon

The Imperfect Path (“O Caminho Imperfeito”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2017, 192 p.
Brazil: Dublinense 2020 · France: Édition Gope 2023 · Mexico: Cuadrivio · Spain: Libros de la Umbría y la Solana 2020

Inside the Secret (“Dentro do Segredo”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2012, 240 p.
Spanish complete translation and English sample translation available
Albania: Odeon 2017 · Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2014 · Bulgaria: Svetulka 44 · Croatia: Bozicevic · Macedonia: Ars Lamina 2017 · The Netherlands: Atlas Contact 2014 · Spain: Xordica 2016

You Died on Me (“Morreste-me”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2000, 64 p.
Argentina: Portaculturas · Armenia: Writer’s Union of Armenia · Belarus: Wsemirnaja Literatura 2007 · Belgium: I.C.B. 2002 · Brazil: Dublinense 2015 · Catalonia: El Gall 2006, Minúscula 2018 · Croatia: Umro si me 2004 · Dominican Republic: Luna Insomne · Finland: Enostone · France: Grasset & Fasquelle 2014 · India: Instituto Camões 2017; Goa 1556 (Marathi + Devanagari Konkani) · Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2005 · Spain: Editora Regional de Extremadura 2004, Ed. Minúscula 2018 · UK: The Warwick Review 2010 · Venezuela: bid & co

Antidote (“Antídoto”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2003
Argentina: Record · Colombia: Taller de Edición Rocca 2014 · Italy: Scritturapura 2006 · USA: Writ Large Press 2013

Lime (“Cal”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2008, 208 p.

Embrace (“Abraço”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2011, 664 p.
Brazil: Editora Record · France: Grasset · Venezuela: Libros del Fuego

Stories of Our House (Lime and You Died on Me) (“Historias de Nuestra Casa”) (Cal and Te me moriste)
Montevideo: Hum Editores 2009

The Distance Between Skin and Tattoo (“La distancia entre la piel y el tatuaje”)
Santiago de Chile: Universidad de Santiago de Chile 2010

All the Writers of the World Have Their Heads Full of Lice (“Todos os Escritores do Mundo Têm a Cabeça Cheia de Piolhos”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2016, 32 p.
Brazil: Editora Projeto 2019 · Colombia: Siete Gatos

The Mother That Rained (“A Mãe que Chovia”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2012, 64 p.
Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2016 · Colombia: Edición Rocca · Slovenia: Založba Malinc 2021

We are the First Person Plural (“Somos a Primeira Pessoa Plural”)
Beira: Fundza 2022, 101 p.
Nominated for the Oceanos Prize 2023

Return Home (“Regresso a Casa”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2020, 120 p.
Brazil: Dublinense 2020 · Mexico: Cuadrivio (Spanish only in Mexico)

Drawer of Papers (“Gaveta de Papéis”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2008, 88 p.

The House, the Darkness (“A Casa, a Escuridão”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2002, 80 p.
Bulgaria: Pet Plus 2006

Child in Ruins (“Criança em Ruínas”)
Lisbon: Quetzal 2001, 96 p.
Czech Republic: Dauphin 2009

Anthology of All Books
Greece 2014

Anthology of Poetry
Venezuela: bid & co