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Jose Luis Peixoto

Born in 1974, in Galveias, in the borough of Ponte de Sor (Portalegre). A graduate in Modern Languages and Literature (English and German) from the New University of Lisbon. For several years, he published poetry and prose in the DN Jovem supplement. He was also a secondary school teacher for a number of years, having taught in several Portuguese towns and in Cape Verde.

Winner of the Young Creators Prize awarded by the Portuguese Institute for Youth in 1998 and 2000, he had already published, before Nenhum Olhar (literally Not Even a Gaze), a piece of short fiction Morreste-me (You Died on Me), published in May 2000, in an authors edition that sold out rapidly.

In October 2000, his first novel, Not Even a Gaze, was published by Temas e Debates. This immediately earned him wide recognition amongst the critics, a status that was later fully confirmed by the fact that the following year he won the Jose Saramago Prize, awarded for the best work of fiction written in Portuguese by an author of under 35 years of age. In the same year, he was also nominated a finalist (a rare feat for a first work) for the award of two of the most prestigious literary prizes: the Portuguese Writers Association s Grand Prize for Novel and Novella and the Pen Club Prize.

It was these two books (both of which have already been translated into four languages, whilst negotiations are currently in progress for translation into several more) that guaranteed him the place that he now occupies as one of the most important young novelists in Europe.
His book of poetry entitled A Crianca em Rui­nas (The Child in Ruins), first launched in 2001 and thereafter appearing in successive editions, was a fresh success amongst both the general public and critics.

The simultaneous launch of Uma Casa na Escuridao (A House in the Darkness) (novel) and A Casa, A Escuridao (The House, The Darkness) (poems), in October 2002, represents another milestone in the author s career, important for the originality of a work of fiction and a book of poems that direct our attention towards an identical and extremely powerful fictional universe.

In 2002, having already represented Portugal at various international literary events (Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Zagreb, amongst others), he was the first Portuguese author to be invited to stay as a writer-in-residence at Ledig House, in New York, and he is now engaged in preparing his third novel.

The Antidote

"The Antidote" was Peixoto s literary adventure in 2003. Working with the gothic metal band Moonspell, Peixoto wrote a novel composed by ten short stories based on the CD "The Antidote". Having each story related with each track of the CD, Moonspell and Peixoto created a unique work of art that mingles music and literature. Click on "Whta s new" to read one of the short stories ("Lunar Still").

The book is available in portuguese by Temas e Debates and it can be read in english as a multimedia track of the CD "The Antidote" by Moonspell.

Review by John P Dunphy at

"Antidote, the novel, written in conjunction to the album by Portuguese novelist Jose Luis Peixoto and excellently translated by Richard Zenith, tells the story of a male and female born around the same time in the same village, with greatly differing experiences from each other but whose lives are to ultimately intertwine. Told through the eyes of the male, the female and occasionally the omniscient narrator, the mood is solemn, sometimes despairingly so, but never morbid for the sake of being morbid; it simply tells a dark, compelling story about the breakdown of the human condition which begs the question, "why does everything exist to be negated?". Every track on The Antidote, the album, corresponds to a chapter in Antidote, the novel, resulting in a total of ten chapters. The interactive version found on the disc runs about 85 pages and can be read over a very brief session. Limited editions of the album feature a highly collectable, hardbound edition of the story as well.

So, after I had read and re-read the story, I went back and listened through the album again. And you know what, I like it a whole lot more! In connecting the novel with its musical interpretation, I finally got the complete picture and discovered what I felt had been missing from my initial listens.

Two things I strongly suggest: first of all, please read the story. Your enjoyment of the album will undoubtedly increase by at least double because of it, as mine certainly did. And two: be sure to read it again. While there are plenty of passages told in a very straightforward manner, some of it reads less like a novel and more like poetry. It needs to be dissected and digested. If you gloss over it, you will miss a lot."


Morreste-me (You Died on Me). Lisbon, Author?s Edition, 2000; Lisbon: Temas e Debates, 2001 (4th edition, October 2002)
Nenhum Olhar (Not Even a Gaze) (novel). Lisbon: Temas e Debates, 2001 (5th edition, October 2002)
Uma Casa na Escuridao (A House in the Darkness) (novel). Lisbon: Temas e Debates, 2002.
Antidoto (Antidote). Lisbon Temas e Debates, 2003

A Crianca em Ruinas (The Child in Ruins), Vila Nova de Famalicao: Quasi, 2001.
A Casa, a Escuridao (The House, the Darkness), Lisbon: Temas e Debates, 2002.

TRANSLATIONS of Nenhum Olhar:

Spanish - Nadie nos Mira. Translated by Bego Montorio. Hondarribia: Hiru, 2001
Italian -
Nessuno Sguardo. Translated by Silvia Cavallieri, Rome: La Nuova Frontiera, 2002.
Dutch - De Blik. Translated by Pieter Swinkles: Meulenhoff, Amsterdam, 2003
Translations are currently being made into French (Editions Grasset), Croatian (VBZ), Turkish (Arkada) and Czech Republic.


Translations of Morreste-me:

Belgium - La mort du pere. Translated by Marie Claire Vromans, Bruxels, 2002

Croatia - Umro si me. Translated by Dean Trdak

Translations of are currently being made into Spanish.

A casa, a escuridao is currently being translated to French.

Uma casa na escuridao is currently being translated to Italian and French.

A crianca em ruinas is currently being translated into Spanish.





Cover of the portuguese edition of "Antidoto"