Eternal Son offers American readers a rare insight into life with Down syndrome in Brazil. The author, CRISTOVÃO TEZZA, is one of Brazil’s foremost contemporary novelists, and the book won multiple awards.
In this multi-award-winning autobiographical novel, Cristovão Tezza draws readers into the mind of a young father whose son, Felipe, is born with Down syndrome. From the initial shock of diagnosis, and through his growing understanding of the world of hospitals and therapies, Tezza threads the story of his son’s life with his own. Felipe, who lives in an eternal present, becomes a remarkable young man; for Tezza, however, the story is a settling of accounts with himself and his own limitations and ultimately a coming to terms with the sublime ironies and arbitrariness of life. He struggles with the phantom of shame, as if his son’s condition were an indication of his own worth, and yearns for a “normal” world that is always out of reach. Reading this compelling book is like stumbling through a trapdoor into the writer’s mind, where nothing is censored and everything is constantly examined and reinterpreted.
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