Of Cattle and Men
Ana Paula Maia author Zoë Perry translator
Published:11th Apr '23
Available for immediate dispatch.
Animals go mad and men die (accidentally and not) at a slaughterhouse in an impoverished, isolated corner of Brazil.
In a landscape worthy of Cormac McCarthy, the river runs septic with blood. Edgar Wilson makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of a cow, then stuns it with a mallet. He does this over and over again, as the stun operator at Senhor Milo’s slaughterhouse: reliable, responsible, quietly dispatching cows and following orders, wherever that may take him. It’s important to calm the cows, especially now that they seem so unsettled: they have begun to run in panic into walls and over cliffs. Bronco Gil, the foreman, thinks it’s a jaguar or a wild boar. Edgar Wilson has other suspicions. But what is certain is that there is something in this desolate corner of Brazil driving men, and animals, to murder and madness.
"This short sharp shock of a book brings a surprise with every new page...a fresh and spirited report on how civilisation has done nothing to tame humanity’s worst instincts." —The Guardian
"Brutal yet gripping, as if Cormac McCarthy penned an anti-meat noir." —Kirkus
"Intense and provocative….This goes straight for the jugular." —Publishers Weekly
"In Perry’s visceral, understated translation…the narrative unfolds with the compulsiveness of a psychological thriller." —The Times Literary Supplement
"Maia’s stark style lends her novella a chilling, detached quality, allowing the violence and viscera to be all the more overwhelming." —Jeremy Garber, Powell's Bookshop
"Biblical in scale and language, Of Cattle and Men is a book to squirm beneath; to measure oneself against." —Southwest Review