Pernambuco, Brazil, 1928.
As seamstresses, the young sisters Emília and Luzia dos Santos know how to cut, how to mend, and how to conceal. These are useful skills in Brazil's backcountry, where land barons feud with outlaw cangaceiros, trapping innocent residents in the crossfire. Emília is a dreamer who wants to escape her hillside village. While the quick-tempered Luzia — scarred by a childhood accident that left her with a deformed arm — finds her escape in sewing and in secret prayers to saints.
When Luzia is abducted by a group of cangaceiros, the sisters' quiet lives diverge. Emília stumbles into marriage with a wealthy stranger and moves to the sprawling city of Recife. Luzia learns to survive in the unforgiving scrubland, and begins to see the cangaceiros as comrades, not criminals.
As Emília navigates the treacherous waters of Brazilian high society, she sees the country torn apart after a bitter presidential election. Political feuds force Luzia to make unexpected alliances and endure betrayals that threaten to break the cangaceiros apart. But Luzia overcomes time and distance to entrust her sister with a great secret — one Emília vows to keep. And when Luzia's life is threatened, Emília will risk everything to save her.
MAKING NEWSFollow @FrancesPeebles
10 de Dezembro 2009
Espaço Aberto Literatura, um programa da Globo News, me entrevistou na fazenda em Taquaritinga do Norte. Veja o video.
The Seamstress wins the Friends of American Writers Award for Fiction.
The Seamstress is released in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
The Seamstress wins Elle Magazine's Grand Prix 2008 for Fiction. Check out Elle's December 2008 issue!
11/16/2008 at 3 PM
I will appear on a literary panel alongside fellow authors Fabiola Santiago and Marisa de los Santos at the 2008 Miami Book Fair International in Miami, Florida.
A review of The Seamstress appears on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.