Just Like a Monster

Original title: Commo se Fosse um Monstro

Publication Date:

March 2023



Original language and publisher

Brazilian Portuguese | Alfaguara – Companhia das Letras

Territories Handled

Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English


Literary Fiction

Just Like a Monster

Original title: Commo se Fosse um Monstro


The greatest strength of the book lies in Fabiane’s precise and clear prose, which flows effortlessly and features natural dialogues, occasionally delivering memorable lines. […] A book that, in its theme and approach, is truly innovative and portrays with respect, complexity, and boundless humanity a character who could have been a monster, but here is simply a woman. O Globo

Fabiane Guimarães’ new novel delves into a unique perspective on motherhood and grips the reader with a narrative about surrogacy. Correio Braziliense

Just Like a Monster is one of those books with easy and quick reading, but that does not fail to plant a series of questions in the reader’s mind about motherhood, female vulnerability, and women’s rights. Correio Braziliense

In Fabiane Guimarães’ second novel, Damiana’s character represents countless women subjected to exploitation in Brazil. Estadão

Just Like a Monster is one of those books that you start reading and can’t put down until you finish. Headline Brasil

Fabiane Guimarães is one of the revelations of Brazilian literature. Diário da Manhã

In her second novel, Fabiane Guimarães explores the boundaries of motherhood, women’s choices, and social expectations.

Damiana was born in the countryside of Goiás. In the 80s, as a young woman, she moved to Brasília to work as a maid for a wealthy couple. As she tries to understand their daily routine, a host of young women arrive to their house for some sort of interview behind closed doors. After months of this mysterious activity, finally the couple comes to Damiana with a proposal: even though the color of her skin is a bit darker than they would have preferred , they ask her to be a surrogate mother for their child.

This is the first among many decisive choices she will have to make. During her fertile years, Damiana will have to understand her role in life, her connection with other people, and how far she is willing to go to achieve her goals and appease her wills.

The story of how she became one of the most productive surrogate mothers of that time, and her reflections on her relationship with motherhood, her own body, the lives she impacted with her choices, and the underground baby-making market in which she got involved, is narrated by an elder Damiana to a young journalist called Gabriela, who chased her for years, willing to listen to her story.

As an enticing novel about what it means to make decisions and how one can affect the lives of others, Just Like a Monster is a reflection on motherhood, guilt, and the right to choose.

Marketing Information

  • Rights sold: Film/TV rights (offer received)
  • English sample available

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