Virtual Event: Stênio Gardel with David Martinez — 'The Words That Remain (tr. Bruna Dantas Lobato)'

A potent novel about scars left by poverty, illiteracy, and homophobia, opening in Brazil's rural hinterland and moving to its metropolitan center.

Third Place Books and Brazos Bookstore (Houston) welcome acclaimed writer Stênio Gardel for a virtual presentation of his debut novel, The Words That Remaintranslated from Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato. He will be joined in conversation by author David Martinez.

This event will be broadcast live on Zoom at 3pm PST / 5pm CST / 6pm EST. Registering will provide you with a unique access link in an email. During the event, you can ask questions using the Q&A feature, or chat with fellow attendees. A recording of the event will be made available and emailed to all who register.

This author talk is free! You can sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book.


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About The Words That Remain. . .

A letter has beckoned to Raimundo since he received it over fifty years ago from his youthful passion, handsome Cícero. But having grown up in an impoverished area of Brazil where the demands of manual labor thwarted his becoming literate, Raimundo has long been unable to read. As young men, he and Cícero fell in love, only to have Raimundo’s father brutally beat his son when he discovered their affair. Even after Raimundo succeeds in making a life for himself in the big city, he continues to be haunted by this secret missive full of longing from the distant past. Now at age seventy-one, he at last acquires a true education and the ability to access the letter. Exploring Brazil’s little-known hinterland as well its urban haunts, this is a sweeping novel of repression, violence, and shame, along with their flip side: survival, endurance, and the ultimate triumph of an unforgettable figure on society’s margins. The Words That Remain explores the universal power of the written word and language, and how they affect all our relationships. 


Praise for The Words That Remain. . .

"Auspicious debut . . . This wistful novel introduces a worthy new voice."
—Publishers Weekly

"Disarmingly tender and feverishly sad, Gardel's love story is a delirium of a novel that reminds its readers of an uncomfortable truth: that even a life of regret can be a beautiful one."
—Patrick Nathan, author of Some Hell

"Incredible debut work . . . Packs a literal and figurative punch . . . Through swirling reflections, the novel moves like a steady whirlwind, conveying inner turmoil and external inaction, punctuated by powerful sometimes devastating change."

"A heartbreaking debut novel . . . The Words That Remain is not just a love story but an expression of queer desire, struggle, and resilience in spaces outside of romantic love. Gardel's text and Lobato's translation create a puzzle that the reader is trying to solve . . . Through this process the reader is brought along on the journey of companionship, family, and love."
—Reading in Translation

“A powerful story of the pain of marginalization: the marginalization of poverty, illiteracy, isolation, prejudice, in the tradition of the great Brazilian storytellers.”
Socorro Aciol, author of The Head of the Saint

Stênio Gardel was born in 1980 in the rural northeast of Brazil. The Words That Remain is his first novel. It was nominated for two major Brazilian literary awards: São Paulo Literature Award 2022 for best debut novel and Jabuti Award 2022 for best literary novel. The book will be translated into Italian as well.

David Martinez is a Brazilian American writer who has lived all over the United States, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. He earned his MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside Palm Desert. His memoir, Bones Worth Breaking, is forthcoming from MDC/FSG in 2024.

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