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Pereira Maintains

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Pereira Maintains
AuthorAntonio Tabucchi
Original titleSostiene Pereira
TranslatorPatrick Creagh
Publication date
Published in English

Pereira Maintains (Italian: Sostiene Pereira) is a 1994 novel by the Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi. It is also known as Pereira Declares and Declares Pereira. Its story follows Pereira, a journalist for the culture column of a small Lisbon newspaper, as he struggles with his conscience and the restrictions of the fascist regime of Antonio Salazar. Antonio Tabucchi won the Premio Campiello, Viareggio Prize and Premio Scanno in 1994 for the novel.[1][2] It was adapted into a film, also called Sostiene Pereira, in 1996.


The novel is set in Portugal in the summer of 1938, during Salazar's dictatorship. Pereira, an old journalist of a Portuguese newspaper - the Lisboa - who loves literature and practically spends all his life for it, reads an essay written by a young man about death. He calls the young man, whose name is Monteiro Rossi, to ask him to write "advance obituaries" about great writers who could die at any moment. Not having ever been much concerned with politics, Pereira's world is turned upside down when he begins to get to know the distracted and leftist youth. The articles he receives from Monteiro Rossi (and pays him for) have a definite leftist slant and are completely unpublishable, but something continues to attract Pereira to him, perhaps the fact that his wife died before he could have children of his own. His visit to a clinic to help his ailing heart puts him in contact with a doctor, with whom he becomes close friends and discusses the doubts he is beginning to have about his isolated and apolitical life. In the end, fascist police visit Pereira and beat to death Monteiro Rossi. With the help of a phone call from his doctor friend, Pereira manages to slip an article about the murder and condemning the regime into the newspaper he works for.

Reading World

It adds context to know the writers, literature and political references that comprise the world of this novel. In order of appearance 1995 New Directions edition, translated by Patrick Creagh.

Pereira’s rightist editor suggests:

  • José Maria de Eça de Queirós. (1845-1900).
  • Camilo Ferreira Botelho Castelo Branco. (1825-1890).
  • Luís Vaz de Camões.Os Lusíadas(1572). (1524-1580).
  • António Ferro. [The Portuguese Department of Propaganda-SPN, later called the Portuguese Information, Culture and Tourism Department - SNI, was created by Antonio Ferro to create strategies for ideological propaganda.
  • ‘The Poster of the New State‘ by Theresa Beco de Lobo


Lawrence Venuti of The New York Times pointed out that the book became a success in Italy as a symbol of resistance against Silvio Berlusconi's government.[3] Michael Arditti reviewed the book for The Daily Telegraph in 2010, and wrote: "Pereira Maintains is a concise, intense and original novel. ... Tabucchi now takes his place alongside Irène Némirovsky, Sándor Márai and Stefan Zweig as one of the great Continental rediscoveries for English-speaking readers of recent years."[4]


  1. ^ "El novelista italiano Antonio Tabucchi gana el premio Campiello". El Mundo (in Spanish). 19 September 1994. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  2. ^ "A Tabucchi, a Raboni e a Chiara Frugoni i premi Viareggio". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 25 June 1994. p. 31. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  3. ^ Venuti, Lawrence (July 21, 1996). "Culture Shock". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  4. ^ Arditti, Michael (2010-11-08). "Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi, tr by Patrick Creagh: review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
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