A peasant family, driven by the drought, walks to exhaustion
through an arid land. As they shelter at a deserted ranch, the
drought is broken and they linger, tending cattle for the absentee
ranch owner, until the onset of another drought forces them to move
on, homeless wanderers again. Yet, like the desert plants that
defeat all rigors of wind and weather, the family maintains its
will to survive in the harsh and solitary land. Intimately
acquainted with the region of which he writes and keenly
appreciative of the character of its inhabitants, into whose minds
he has penetrated as few before him, Graciliano Ramos depicts them
in a style whose austerity well becomes the spareness of the
subject, creating a gallery of figures that rank as classic in
contemporary Brazilian literature.
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