Crooked Plow by Itamar Vieira Junior
From Verso Fiction:
'I heard our grandmother asking what we were doing.'"Say something!" she demanded, threatening to tear out our tongues. Little did she know that one of us was holding her tongue in her hand.'
Deep in Brazil's neglected Bahia hinterland, two sisters find an ancient knife beneath their grandmother's bed and, momentarily mystified by its power, decide to taste its metal. The shuddering violence that follows marks their lives and binds them together forever.
Heralded as a new masterpiece and the most important Brazilian novel of this century, this fascinating and gripping story about the lives of subsistence farmers in the Brazil's poorest region, three generations after the abolition of slavery in that country is at once fantastic and realist, covering themes of family, spirituality, slavery and its aftermath and political struggle.