Tara Cheesman at The Quarterly Conversation:
Imagine if Don Mclean’s song American Pie was written about Christian mysticism instead of rock-n-roll. That’s my elevator pitch/description of the Portuguese writer, Maria Gabriela Llansol’s, English language debut: The Geography of Rebels Trilogy. Originally published as three separate books—The Book of Communities, The Remaining Life, and In the House of July and August—it has been painstakingly translated by Audrey Young and released by the Texas indie publisher Deep Vellum in a single volume.
Anyone coming to Llansol with any kind of “normal” expectations at all will likely be disappointed. Plot, logical structure, continuity, a sense of linear time and/or space— you won’t find any of that here. At least not in any form that is readily apparent. Instead, Llansol immerses her readers in a shared hallucinatory vision, seemingly fueled by religious hysteria and open to multiple interpretations.