A riveting and beautiful new book from one of the most compelling writers to emerge in the last few years, Monica Ali, the award-winning, bestselling author of Brick Lane
Shorlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Monica Ali's Brick Lane was one of the great fiction debuts of recent years. Now, Ali takes her "grace, thoughtfulness," and "prodigious talents" to new territory.
In Alentejo Blue , Ali tells the story of a village community in Portugal as it adapts to a new world. She writes from the viewpoint of expatriates, tourists, and men and women whose families have lived there for generations. Everyone is waiting for something to happen. They gather in Vasco's café or the new Internet place, where the computers don't work. Teresa, not yet twenty, is meant to marry a suitable man from the village but wants to see the world. She worries about her younger brother, who has fallen in with Ruby Potts, the promisecuous daughter of an unseemly couple. Stanton, the English writer trying to finish his book, can't stay away from the Potts girl or her mother.
With extraordinary insight and compassion, Ali introduces the struggles and longings of these characters, and their colliding, entangled lives. As The New York Times Book Review said, "she has an inborn generosity that cannot be learned."