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Winning the Game and Other Stories

Rubem Fonseca

Publication Year: 2013

In these seventeen stories by one of Brazil's foremost living authors, Fonseca introduces readers--with unsurpassed candor and keenness of observation--to a kaleidoscopic, often disturbing world. A hunchback sets his lascivious sights on seducing a beautiful woman. A wealthy businessman hires a ghost writer, with unexpected results. A family of modern-day urban cannibals celebrates a bizarre rite of passage. A man roams the nocturnal streets of Rio de Janeiro in search of meaning. A male ex-police reporter writes an advice column under a female pseudonym. A prosperous entrepreneur picks up a beautiful girl in his Mercedes only to discover his costly mistake. A loser elaborates a lethal plan to become, in his mind, a winner.

Published by: Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth

Series: Brazilian Literature in Translation Series


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-viii

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Arts and Trades

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pp. 1-13

You ruin your teeth when you’re a kid, but later after you make a lot of money you find a dentist who fixes your mouth. That’s what happened with me; I implanted every tooth in my mouth, a marvel of odontological engineering. I’m full of teeth that don’t fall out or decay, ...

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The Hunchback and Botticelli's Venus

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pp. 14-33

Fluttering locks of reddish hair whipped by the wind and rain, smooth and radiant skin, she is Botticelli’s Venus walking down the street. (The one in the Uffizi, born from a seashell, not the one in the Staatliche Museen, with a black background, which is similar but has dry hair arranged around the head, descending evenly down the...

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The Game of Dead Men

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pp. 34-39

They would meet every night in Anísio’s bar. Marinho, who owned the largest pharmacy in town, Fernando and Gonçalves, partners in a grocery store, and Anísio. None of them was a native of the city or even of the Baixada. Anísio and Fernando were from Minas Gerais and Marinho from Ceará. Gonçalves had come from Portugal. They were...

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The Blotter

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pp. 40-43

Detective Miro brought the woman to see me.
“It was her husband,” Miro said, uninterested. In that precinct in the outskirts, husband-and-wife squabbles were common.
Two of her front teeth were broken, her lips injured, her face swollen. Marks on the arms and neck...

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pp. 44-59

I was working for a popular newspaper as a police reporter. It had been a long time since the city had seen an interesting crime involving a rich, young, and beautiful society woman, along with deaths, disappearances, corruption, lies, sex, ambition, money, violence, scandal...

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pp. 60-88

I was white and had fianchettoed my bishop. Berta was mounting a strong center pawn position.
“This is the office of Paulo Mendes,” my voice said on the answering machine, giving whoever had called thirty seconds to leave a message. The guy said his name was Cavalcante-Meier, as if there were a hyphen...

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Guardian Angel

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pp. 89-97

the house had several bedrooms. I asked which of them I was supposed to sleep in. She took me to a bedroom that was close to hers.
I sat on the bed, tested the mattress.
“No good, it’s too soft. It’ll kill my back.”
I tested the mattresses in all the bedrooms until I found a firm one...

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The Ship "Catrineta"

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pp. 98-106

I awoke to the sound of aunt olympia declaiming “The Ship Catrineta” in her grave and powerful contralto voice...

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The Art of Walking in the Streets of Rio de Janeiro

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pp. 107-144

Augusto, the walker, whose real name is Epifânio, lives in a space above a women’s hat shop on Sete de Setembro, downtown, and he walks the streets all day and part of the night. He believes that by walking he thinks better, finds solutions to his problems; ...

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pp. 145-152

“The walther’s hot, if they catch you with it, it’ll spill over to us. After you do the job, throw it away, in the ocean or the lake.”
“Leave it to me,” I said.
The Dispatcher went on. “Remember the Glock and the shit storm it caused?” As if I could forget the black guy who pretended he was living...

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pp. 153-157

I phoned the dispatcher.
“You sent a girl to do the job? You sent a virgin to face off against an old whore?”
“I was counting on your weakness for women.”
“It didn’t work.”
“She’s very pretty.”
“Was. I had to sacrifice the girl, you sonofabitch." ...

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Be My Valentine

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pp. 158-166

if there’s one thing i can’t stomach, it’s a blackmailer. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have left home that Saturday for all the money in the world.
Medeiros, the lawyer, called me and said, “It’s blackmail and my client will pay.” His client was J.J. Santos, the banker...

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Kisses on the Cheek

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pp. 167-170

“Your bladder will have to be removed entirely,” Roberto said. “And in these cases a place is prepared for the urine to be stored before it’s excreted. A part of your intestine will be converted into a small sac, connected to the ureters. The urine from that receptacle will...

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pp. 171-176

spent a week, me, Incorrigible Romantic, visiting chat rooms and was getting discouraged, when the woman I was looking for showed up: ...

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pp. 177-184

Once, i was in love with a girl and to prove to her the magnitude of my feeling cut off the little finger of my right hand. They say passion is a pathological condition, a sickness that luckily is transitory. Though I was never in love with Nelly, I married her. I’m a writer, and...

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The Brotherhood of Swords

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pp. 185-189

I was once a member of the Brotherhood of Swords. I still remember when we met to choose the name of our Brotherhood. I argued, at the time, that for our survival it was important to have a respectable name and purpose and gave as example what had happened to the Brotherhood of São Martinho, an association of wine fanciers who, like the...

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Winning the Game

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pp. 190-196

When I’m not reading some book I get from the public library I watch one of those TV programs that show the life of the rich, their mansions, the cars, the horses, the yachts, the jewels, the paintings, the rare furniture, the silverware, the wine cellar, the servants. It’s impressive...


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pp. 197-209

E-ISBN-13: 9781933227474
E-ISBN-10: 1933227478
Print-ISBN-13: 9781933227467

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: Trans. from the Portuguese
Series Title: Brazilian Literature in Translation Series
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OCLC Number: 831121029
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Winning the Game and Other Stories

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  • Fonseca, Rubem -- Translations into English.
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