OVERRIDE

Epitaph of a Small Winner

A Novel

Machado de Assis; Translated by William L. Grossman; Foreword by Susan Sontag

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

"I am a deceased writer not in the sense of one who has written and is now deceased, but in the sense of one who has died and is now writing." So begins the posthumous memoir of Braz Cubas, a wealthy nineteenth-century Brazilian. Though the grave has given Cubas the distance to examine his rather undistinguished life, it has not dampened his sense of humor. In 160 short chapters, he covers the basics of his existence and expands into philosophical explorations that sometimes follow meandering paths of thought to unexpected places, at times exuberant and hilarious, at other times cynical and at odds with the world that surrounds him.  In the tradition of Laurence Sterne and Jonathan Swift—and as a clear forerunner of the works of Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges—Epitaph of a Small Winner, first published in 1880, is one of the wittiest literary self-portraits.

REVIEWS

Praise for Epitaph of a Small Winner

"Epitaph of a Small Winner is probably one of those thrillingly original, radically skeptical books that will always impress readers with the force of private discovery." —From the foreword by Susan Sontag

"Machado de Assis was a literary force, transcending nationality and language, comparable certainly to Flaubert, Hardy, or James...Epitaph of a Small Winner is clearly one of those books which we call definitive. It is there, complete, done: a study of ironic disillusionment couched in the most delicate suavity of despair..." —The New York Times Book Review

"No satirist, not even Swift, is less merciful in his exposure of the pretentiousness and the hypocrisy that lurk in the average good man and woman. Machado, in his deceptively amiable way, is terrifying." —The New Republic

"A masterpiece of Epicurean irony." —The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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Epitaph of a Small Winner

A Novel

Machado de Assis; Translated by William L. Grossman; Foreword by Susan Sontag

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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