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The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao

The International Bestseller, now a major motion picture

Martha Batalha


‘Zesty’ Daily Mail

‘A real gem of a book’ Stylist

A wickedly funny tale of two rebellious sisters in 1940s Rio de Janeiro

Euridice is bright and ambitious. But this is Brazil in the 1940s, and society expects her to be a loving wife and mother. While Antenor is busy congratulating himself on his excellent catch, Euridice spends her humdrum days ironing his shirts and removing the lumps of onion from his food, dreaming of the success she could have made of herself – as a writer, dressmaker or culinary whizz – in another life.

Her free-spirited sister Guida, on the other hand, is the kind of person who was ‘born knowing everything’. When she returns from her failed elopement with stories of heartbreak and loss, the lives of Euridice and her husband are thrown into confusion, with disastrous consequences.

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a darkly comic debut, bursting with vibrant Brazilian spirit and unforgettable characters – a jubilant novel about the emancipation of women. 


  • Publication date: May 3, 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786073372
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 240
  • Publication date: September 7, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781786071736
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 240


'This zesty Brazilian debut has the same brightly coloured quality as a folk painting... A novel that brims indeed with invisible life – not just Euridice's, but the dreams of an entire cast of women: housewives, daughters, and the forsaken who fall in between.'

Daily Mail

'Beguiling... Has all that much changed? we can hear the author sighing between the breathless pauses of her fable-like saga...Batalha winkingly employs echoing names like Antenor, Antonio, Alfonso and Alvaro to suggest that her male characters have all tumbled out of the same chauvinistic nest... In this translation from the Portuguese by Eric M. B. Becker, Batalha’s empathy is buoyed by puckish wordplay and nostalgia for a time when an act of emancipation entailed a manual typewriter and a good smoke: "Each cigarette was a cry of freedom that was complete in itself and left no tracks."'

New York Times Book Review

'With something of Chocolat's charm about it, this is a funny, empowering tale of two sisters in forties Rio de Janeiro whose lives diverge only to come back together as they search for a sense of their own lives. A real gem of a book.'


'[Martha Batalha] brings to life her many characters and the sights, smells and experiences of the world they live in with a deft, wry touch.'

Press Association

'Humorous and exuberant, this book is a rare treat!'

Chicago Review of Books

'With sharp humor and pointed prose, Marta Batalha’s novel rebels against the patriarchal forces of her home country.'

World Literature Today

'Tremendous fun... A story of kindness and grace, which does not need to be any longer, but is sufficiently addictive to make us wish it were.'

The LadyPhilippa Williams

'The arc of this novel, the writing, the characters, are a joy to read.'

Book Riot

'With humor and fresh, clever writing, the author addresses women’s issues in mid-century society... All the characters’ stories and descriptions are so cleverly told and so much fun to read. I loved this book. It puts a spotlight on women living in the ´40s, and is told with originality and skill. It is such a refreshing read, and I highly recommend it. This is the author’s debut novel, and I will watch for anything new from her in the future.'

Historical Novel Society 'Editor’s Choice Selection' for November

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

Vogue (Brazil)

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


'Filled with intrigue, mystery, sadness, and a novel’s-worth of fierce leading ladies, this one is perfect for fans of Julia Alvarez and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.'


Martha Batalha

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.

Author page

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