Original title: Demerara
“DEMERARA is a vibrating narrative that makes us understand the epic ethos of the European emigration to America. Against the background of the so-called Spanish Flu pandemic, there is a story about the battles of life, which are, in the end, about surviving”. – Francisco Castro, publisher at Editorial Galaxia
The novel was born from the author’s research on his paternal grandfather. It is known that Bernardo Gutierrez arrived in Brazil on the Demerara ship, which brought the Spanish flu to Brazil in 1918, and died the day his son and only child was baptized. The narrative unfolds from this storyline using historiographical elements as pillars to support the plot, written in the first person.
Demerara navigates through the Spanish flu pandemic, the flux of migrants to the Americas, the adaptation of the migrants to a new land, and the creation of a new way of living. The book takes place in two thriving cities at the time, Vigo and São Paulo, united by the unusual route of an English passenger vessel chased by German submarines and carrying the first signs of the pandemic. São Paulo was at its initial stages of a new period of urbanization that developed alongside train and tram tracks. It housed hundreds of thousands of immigrants mainly from Europe and the Middle East that were drawn by the wealth of coffee plantations.
- English sample available