Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (21 June 1839 – 29 September 1908), was a Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright and short story writer.
Helen Caldwell is a scholar and Brazilianist from California. Her work focuses on the 19th century Brazilian writer Machado de Assis.
"Packed with wit, with compassion, with valiant self-knowledge." - Cleveland Plain Dealer
"This novel first appeared in 1908, the year of Machado de Assis' death. . . . It is a mild story, mildly told with a muted form of irony . . . . it is without self-pity, an elegiac book . . . . unmistakably the work of a masterful writer." - Kirkus Reviews
"A novel as ironic as any of Machado's earlier fiction, but with a new sense of ripeness and tender regard for those whom life tries and tests. It is a last fitting monument to the art of Machado de Assis." - The Nation
"A small masterwork, freshly translated , by one of the great novelists of the 19th century. A retired Brazilian diplomat (Ayres) recounts the love affair of a young widow who would rather be faithful to her dead Romeo. How she rejoins the world of the living, rekindling Ayres' spirit as well, is told with muted allusions to Brazil's plantation life and its emancipation of the slaves." - Chicago Tribune