»The author’s focus on a corrupted body is interesting. A body that, in the eyes of the world, is just another body, but which the person who inhabits it feels as the epitome of shame. Once again the victim takes responsibility for the actions of the abuser, a distressing experience that Salem Levy portrays to perfection.«
Paula Bonet, El País
5 star rating/recommendation:
»Vista Chinesa is a delicate exercise in assembling: on the one hand, Salem Levy raises the precariousness of identity that follows the suffering of rape; on the other, she executes a meticulous portrait of the socio-political violence of a country like Brazil, deeply divided by poorly functioning integration policies and which, during the years between the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, projected an image of luxury that did nothing more than radicalise this gap. The two elements of the story, of course, are soon coupled together like the two poles of a magnet.«
»That is the great thing and it is what literature can do – to put into words what is unbearable. (…) Vista Chinesa is a slim book, a stunning piece of literature and also an image of society. Intimacy becomes public and the personal becomes political.«
»A book full of beauty, depth and space for reflection. The author does not exploit her story, but in a sense unfolds it to analyse it, and the way she does this, with prudence, economy and veracity, makes this slim book unusual.«
»An impressive power, which grabs us by the throat right from the very first page and carries us right inside the book, as if the book were the forest itself, to be experienced with extreme suffering, eyes half-closed, maximum harshness.«
»Of impressive literary brilliance.«
»Vista Chinesa is one of those kinds of book that no matter how much time passes are not forgotten.«
Público, 5 Stars
»There are few life-changing books. Tatiana’s short novel seems to have that potential.«
José Eduardo Agualusa
»How do we write about something we don’t talk about? Out of fear, shame or a sense of guilt that often comes from the judgment of others, the subject is taboo and little reported on by victims. In Vista Chinesa, Tatiana Salem Levy’s new novel, however, it is on every page.«
Folha de S.Paulo
Despite its mere 120 pages, the book is an incredibly intense and dense narrative. Levy has succeeded in developing a style in her novel that brilliantly captures the main character’s struggle with what she has experienced and with her memory. With this book, she has undoubtedly caught up with the greatest authors of Brazilian literature such as Lispector and Scliar.
»In the book, it is as if we ourselves were transported directly to the forest, to the endless hell to which Julia was dragged.«
»The book makes clear the need to not forget, to exhaust scene by scene, to give names to things so that the possibility arises of moving on. After finishing the book, one may wonder if it is first and foremost, a political work or if it is the story of a singular pain. For Levy, every book is political.«
»Because every day, even if unconsciously, we fear the exact scene narrated in this immense and powerful work.«
»In Vista Chinesa, Tatiana narrates in a precise and vigorous way the crime that took place in Rio de Janeiro. It is necessary, poignant, terrifying, excellent literature.«
»It is a book about women who have been broken and the light that can emanate from them. About being alive and carrying on. It is a great book.«
Folha Corrida/Folha de S.Paulo
»The episode of sexual violence, the core of Tatiana’s work, is narrated with a disturbing richness of detail. So strong that you can sense the smell of the forest entering through your nose. The author pours out all that agony with rawness and, often, without drawing breath for punctuation. As if the text were bile spewing from the throat.«
»Vista Chinesa, by Tatiana Salem Levy, is one of the most important books of recent times.«
»The main manifestation of overcoming hardship emerges in the author’s gesture, as she takes the pain of another as the starting point of her creation, of her research, producing collective life from a relationship of friendship. In Vista Chinesa, the literary form is thus an expression of the concept of sisterhood, going beyond the limits that, since becoming a mother, the character had imagined for herself.«
»A style that balances precision and the poetic.«
»The shards of memory are narrated in the book in a breathless flow, without commas. Past and present are intertwined and interspersed with thoughts and fragile memories, which evaporate when the protagonist tries to describe to the police what has happened to her.«
»The result is a collective appeal for us to discuss the unspeakable until cases like this become nothing more than a faded memory in national history.«
The strength of the book lies in its sensitive construction, in its language, but also in its conception: Tatiana does not narrate her own pain, nor does she invent the pain of others. She gives her hand to Joana Jabace, the victim of the crime in question, and together they find the words to express what one would fatally silence, what the other would not dare to explore. And now the gesture of solidarity has become explosive, is taking hold of a community of readers and has already given rise to other accounts of the unspeakable. It has become the ordinary action that the present demands of us.
Julián Fuks, UOL Brasil
One of the merits of Vista Chinesa is that it articulates organically, through a well-calibrated form, the public and intimate issues it raises.
Michel Laub, Valor
The most beautiful novel I have read in recent times.
Maria Fernanda Rodrigues, Estadão (São Paulo)