José Luís Peixoto


© Pedro Loureiro



José Luís Peixoto was born in Galveias in 1974. He has a degree in modern languages and literature from the Universidade Nova in Lisbon. His literary work has been translated into twenty languages so far. He has received many distinctions and prestigious awards, among others the José Saramago Prize 2001 and the Libro d'Europa Award 2010, and he was shortlisted for the Portugal Telecom Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Femina Prize. 2016 his latest novel Galveias, which sold already over 30,000 copies in Portugal, has won the prestigious Prémio Oceanos 2016 (formerly: Portugal Telecom), Brazilian literary award for works in Portuguese language. José Luís Peixoto is one of Portugal's most acclaimed and bestselling contemporary novelists.



Between Bangkok and Las Vegas, José Luís Peixoto returns to non-fiction with an astonishing, layered book of unforeseen relationships, moving from the most intimate account to the most remote and exuberant of descriptions. O Caminho Imperfeito (“The Imperfect Path”) is itself the long journey to a Thailand beyond the normal tourist haunts, exploring lesser known aspects of its culture, society, history and religion, among many others. The sinister discovery of several parcels containing parts of a human body at a post office in Bangkok cause, with unpredictable consequences, his wanderings to become an ordeal. Every episode of this eccentric investigation forms "The Imperfect Path" and, at the same time, constitutes a search for the meaning of travel, writing, and life itself.



In his new novel Em Teu Ventre (“In Your Belly”), José Luís Peixoto addresses one of the defining religious events of the 20th century: the appearance of the Virgin Mary before the eyes of three children in the Portuguese village of Fátima in 1917. After lengthy interviews, the Catholic Church recognized this miracle, turning Fátima into a place of worldwide pilgrimage. But what is behind the phenomenon? Peixoto is interested in people, and so he chooses the ten-year-old Lúcia as the protagonist of his novel. She is the youngest of five children and therefore especially dear to her mother Maria’s heart. Although piously educated, Lúcia is a very headstrong and dreamy girl. For her, the arrival of the Madonna means a sudden end of her childhood and separation from her birth mother. Situated between Christian mysticism and historical research, Em Teu Ventre is a piece of fictional biography of the figure of Sister Lúcia, now revered as a saint in Portugal. Without deciding between reason and superstition, the novel is an ode to both the freedom of faith and the love between mother and child.



The sleepy village of Galveias is home to both long-established families with their rivalries and feuds, like the brothers José and Justino who fell out over their inheritance and haven’t spoken for over fifty years, and newcomers like Isabella, the beautiful Brazilian who runs the bakery that, at night, also functions as a brothel. After the village is struck by some sort of mysterious meteor, the bread starts tasting of sulphur, relationships are reshaped and a series of events is set in motion: it stops raining for nine months; the two brothers are finally reconciled with each other and with their past; Isabella is mistaken for a cork thief and accidentally shot. Then finally a baby girl who doesn’t smell of sulphur is born, and the spell is broken.

This beautifully written novel is brimming with astute observations and depictions of human behaviour, of life itself and how it is shaped and changed. The characters that inhabit the captivating microcosm of Galveias inevitably draw the reader in with their intertwining stories that come together as one.



One of the most gifted writers of his country.

Le Monde


Peixoto has an extraordinary way of perceiving, conveyed in his original choices of language and imagery.

The Times Literary Supplement



Livro (“Book”) confirms José Luís Peixoto as one of the leading contemporary Portuguese novelists, and also as an author of increasing importance on the international literary scene.

This book chooses as its backdrop the extraordinary saga of Portuguese emigration to France, told through a gallery of unforgettable characters and the luminous writing of José Luís Peixoto. From a village in Portugal to Paris, and from popular culture to the most erudite of literary references, are revealed to us the traces of a past that took thousands of Portuguese in search of better conditions and a future of dual nationality. Overwhelming and striking, "Livro" (Book) exposes the magnitude of the dream and the rawness, ironic, tender or grotesque, of reality. Through stories of lives, meetings and farewells, the reader is led to a disconcerting ending beyond the frontiers of literature.



Peixoto’s writing possesses a rare, rhythmic beauty.

The Guardian



A writer who raises aloft the literature of his country.

Le Figaro



Peixoto’s bold, incantatory prose is consistently beautiful – apparently simple but also incredibly rich and resonant.

The Independent



Please also visit the author’s website:






Em Teu Ventre

Lisbon: Quetzal 2015, 165 p.

Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2017 Spain: Literatura Random House 2017 Venezuela: bid & co



Lisbon: Quetzal 2014, 280 p.

Complete English translation available (Portugal: Tell a Story)

Over 30,000 copies sold in Portugal

Prémio Oceanos 2016

Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2015 China: Foreign Language Croatia: Bozicevic Czech Republic: Smrst 2017 Egypt: Al Arabi 2017France: Seuil 2017Georgia: Bakur Sulakauri 2017 Greece: Kedros 2016 Japan: Shinchosha 2018 Spain: Literatura Random House 2016



Lisbon: Quetzal 2010, 264 p.

Libro d'Europa Award 2010 (Italy)

Shortlisted for the Femina Award 2010 (France)

Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2012Bulgaria: Sevtulka 44 Croatia: Bozicevic 2016France: Grasset 2012Greece: Kedros 2015 Italy: Einaudi 2013 Mexico: Arlequín 2018Poland: Swiat Ksiazki 2018 Serbia: Kontrast Spain: El Aleph 2011


Cemitério de Pianos

Lisbon: Quetzal 2006, 288 p.

Calamo Award for the best translated novel published in Spain 2007

Brazil: Record 2008Egypt: Al Arabi 2016France: Grasset 2008, Folio/Gallimard pb 2009German: Septime 2017Greece: Ellinika Grammata 2009Israel: Kineret 2011Italy: Einaudi 2010 Mexico: Arlequín 2018Netherlands: Meulenhoff 2008Romania: Polirom 2010Spain: El Aleph 2007 (avail.), pb 2008UK: Bloomsbury 2010, Bloomsbury pb 2011 Uruguay: HUM 2016


Uma Casa na Escuridão

Lisbon: Quetzal 2002, 256 p.

Brazil: Record 2009France: Grasset 2006Germany: Septime 2015 Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2004Spain: El Aleph 2008 (avail.)


Nenhum Olhar

Lisbon: Quetzal 2000, 224 p.

Complete English translation available

José Saramago Literary Award 2001

Selected by the Financial Times as one of their best books 2007; part of ‘Discover Great new writer’ selection by Barnes & Noble in the USA; selected by expresso (Portugal) as one of their 10 best books of the decade

Albania: Ombra GVG Belarus: Vsemirnaja literature 2006Brazil: Agir/Ediouro 2005, DublinenseBulgaria: Pet Plus 2006 Colombia: Ediciones UniandesCroatia: V.B.Z. 2004Czech Republic: Barrister 2004Estonia: SA Kultuurileht Poland: Prószyński i S-ka 2008Finland: Wsoy 2005France: Grasset 2003Hungary: Europa 2007Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2002Mexico: Arlequín 2017Netherlands: Meulenhoff 2003Peru: Cascahuesos   Romania: Polirom 2009Spain: Hiru 2001, El Aleph 2009 (avail.)Turkey: Arkadas 2005UK: Bloomsbury 2007US: Doubleday 2008, Anchor pb 2009 Bangladesh: Kagoj Prokashon




O Caminho Imperfeito

Lisbon: Quetzal 2017, 192 p.

Mexico: Cuadrivio


Dentro do Segredo

Lisbon: Quetzal 2012, 240 p.

Spanish complete translation and English sample translation available

Albania: Odeon 2017 Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2014Bulgaria: Svetulka 44 Croatia: Bozicevic

Macedonia: Ars Lamina 2017Netherlands: Atlas Contact 2014 Spain: Xordica 2016



Short stories


Lisbon: Quetzal 2000, 64 p.

Brazil: Dublinense 2015Belarus: Wsemirnaja Literatura 2007Belgium: I.C.B. 2002Catalonia: El Gall 2006, Minúscula 2018Croatia: Umro si me 2004France: Grasset & Fasquelle 2014India: Instituto Camões 2017 Italy: La Nuova Frontiera 2005Spain: Editora Regional de Extremadura 2004, Ed. Minúscula 2018UK: The Warwick Review 2010 Venezuela: bid & co Armenia: Writer’s Union of Armenia Finland: Enostone India: Goa 1556 (Marathi + Devanagari Konkani)



Lisbon: Quetzal 2003

Colombia: Taller de Edición Rocca 2014Italy: Scritturapura 2006US: Writ Large Press 2013



Lisbon: Quetzal 2008, 208 p.



Lisbon: Quetzal 2011, 664 p.

Brazil: Companhia das LetrasFrance: Grasset


Other editions

Historias de Nuestra Casa (Cal and Te me moriste)

Montevideo: Hum Editores 2009


La distancia entre la piel y el tatuaje

Santiago de Chile: Universidade Santiago de Chile 2010



Children’s Books

Todos os Escritores do Mundo Têm a Cabeça Cheia de Piolhos

Lisbon: Quetzal 2016, 32 p.

Brazil: Editora Projeto


A Mãe que Chovia

Lisbon: Quetzal 2012, 64 p.

Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2016 Colombia: Edición Rocca




Criança em Ruínas

Lisbon: Quetzal 2001, 96 p.

Czech Republic:             Dauphin 2009


A Casa, a Escuridão

Lisbon: Quetzal 2002, 80 p.

Bulgaria: Pet Plus 2006


Gaveta de Papéis

Lisbon: Quetzal 2008, 88 p.



Other editions

Anthology of all books

Greece 2014


Anthology of Poetry

Venezuela: bid & co