The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao

Pages: 240
Subject: Fiction, Translated Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao

Martha Batalha

Translated by Eric M. B. Becker
A wildly inventive, wickedly funny portrait of two rebellious sisters in 1940s Rio de Janeiro
9781786072986 (7 Sep 2017)
RRP £12.99

The Book

Euridice is young, bright and ambitious. A talented musician, she dreams only of fame and fortune. But this is Rio de Janeiro in the 1940s, and the one thing society expects of its women: to be loving wives and mothers. So when her rebellious sister Guida elopes, breaking her parents' hearts, Euridice sacrifices her own aspirations to marry conventional Antenor, spending her days ironing his shirts and removing the lumps of onion from his food.

As his professional success grows, so does her feeling of restlessness. Throwing convention to the wind, the irrepressible Euridice dreams up an array of creative ventures to escape her humdrum family life, to the distress of her tradition-loving husband. And then one day the free-spirited Guida suddenly reappears, and together the two sisters set about forging their own paths in life.

With a cast of unforgettable characters, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a darkly comic novel from one of the most exciting new voices in world literature.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction, Translated Fiction
Pages 240
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Martha Batalha studied journalism and literature in Brazil, working first as a reporter before starting her own publishing company. The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is her first novel. Martha lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and two children.

Eric M. B. Becker is editor of world literature journal Words without Borders and a translator of literature from Portuguese into English. He lives in New York.


'A worthy debut for Batalha, full of wry humor.'

- Kirkus

'Spellbinding...Batalha is one of those rare writers who can summarise an entire life in a single paragraph, so when she spends an entire book on a single life, the reader is in for a treat.'

- Laia Jufresa, author of Umami

'Martha Batalha...tells the story of the brilliant sisters Guida and Euridice with humour, social awareness and wit.'

- Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire

'The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is earthy and witty, and the lives of its heroines of everyday existence are memorable and inspiring.'

- Meg Nola, Foreword Reviews

'Extraordinary. You can't put this book down.'

- Vogue (Brazil)

'A unique and enchanting novel.'

- Elle (France)

‘We love the raging irony of this story and its portrayal of a secret rebel.' 

- Cosmopolitan (France)

‘A jubilant novel about the emancipation of women.'

- Madame Figaro

‘Martha Batalha creates a nostalgic, exotic microcosm…full of compassion, but with a good pinch of irony and a hearty helping of humour.'


‘Martha Batalha delivers a feminist debut [...] and a beautiful journey through folkloric Rio filled with the scent of spices, coconut milk and guava marmalade.'

- Le Parisien Magazine

‘Razor-sharp, dry, caustic and intelligent.' 

- Alberto Mussa, author of The Mystery of Rio

'Clever and unusual...filled with amusing tales told through its array of memorable characters.'

- Carlos Saldanha, film director

'An epic saga, a roman-fleuve.'

- Ruy Castro, writer

'A remarkable narrative.'

- Alberto Mussa