ALL DOGS ARE BLUE by Rodrigo de Souza Leão, translated by Zoë Perry and Stefan Tobler

All Dogs Are Blue—Cover.jpg
All Dogs Are Blue—Cover.jpg

ALL DOGS ARE BLUE by Rodrigo de Souza Leão, translated by Zoë Perry and Stefan Tobler


~25,000 WORDS
And Other Stories

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"Rodrigo de Souza Leão is an exceptional author and has had a major impact on contemporary Brazilian literature." — Paulo Scott

All Dogs are Blue is a fiery and scurrilously funny tale of life in a Rio de Janeiro insane asylum. Our narrator is upset by his ever-widening girth and kept awake by the Rio funk blaring from a nearby favela – fair enough, but what about the undercover agents infiltrating the asylum? He misses the toy dog of his childhood, keeps high literary company with two hallucinations, Rimbaud (a mischief-maker) and Baudelaire (a bit too serious for him), and finds himself the leader of a popular cult. All Dogs are Blue burst onto the Brazilian literary scene in 2008. Its raw style and comic inventiveness took readers by storm. But it was to be Rodrigo de Souza Leão’s last masterpiece. He died that year, aged 43, in a psychiatric clinic. ‘We’re the minority,’ says our narrator, ‘but at least I say what I want.’ All Dogs are Blue is an extraordinary autobiographical fiction that speaks of mental illness and its controversial treatment, revealing the illumination of the ill in a troubled society.

Due to his mental fragility, Rodrigo de Souza Leão rarely left his house and yet, through social media, blogging, and e-mail, he became close to many Brazilian writers and poets and remains highly regarded today.

"When I finished reading the book I was so completely taken by it that I could only think about translating it into Spanish and finding a publisher for it. That’s what I did." — Juan Pablo Villalobos

"Souza Leão’s autobiographical novel…weaves the lives of the poor with the insane, and poetry with psychosis." — The Independent

“Souza Leão uses a kind of language his schizophrenia has taught him, creating a poetry that’s at one moment absurd and the next heartbreakingly self-aware. It’s an innovative, original book.” — Justin Alvarez, The Paris Review

"The novel’s pained, honest prose left me reeling for much of its length … the headlong rush of prose and ideas becomes breathtaking … for all of the things that we don’t know about this brief, crushingly moving book’s narrator, we do know that he was once a child; we can experience something of that innocence, and the heart at his core. It’s an indication of why we should care about this man, and what warm decency lies at the beginnings of this particular narrative." — Tobias Carroll, Volume 1: Brooklyn

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