The Double Death of Quincas Water-Bray

The Double Death of Quincas Water-Bray


Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143106364
  • 96 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Widely considered the greatest work by the foremost Brazilian author of the twentieth century, The Double Death of Quincas Water-Bray comes to Penguin Classics in a new translation by the dean of Portuguese-language translators, Gregory Rabassa. It tells the story of Joaquim Soares da Cunha, who drops dead after he abandons his life of upstanding citizenship to assume the identity of Quincas Water-Bray, a “champion drunk” and bum who is whisked along on a postmortem journey that climaxes in his loss at sea.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


“Raucous . . . Rowdy . . . Outrageous!” —The New York Times

“Swift, funny, and occasionally even slapstick.” —Rivka Galchen, from the Introduction

“Part Virginia Woolf, part Weekend at Bernie’s . . . [An] excellent example of the particular mixture of folkloric elements and high-literary storytelling for which Amado is often paired with Gabriel García Márquez.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Hilarious… Deftly constructed… Hugely entertaining… Amado, like Quincas, is a hoaxer who loves to trick his readers….  [His] version of Brazil is seductive.” The Times Literary Supplement

“[A] comic masterpiece . . . Darkly hilarious . . . With brilliant sleight of hand and deceptive simplicity, Amado’s defiance of death in this frothy, heartfelt tale reveals the Brazilian master at his earthy, big-hearted best.” —Shelf Awareness

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