Machado De Assis

Author's books

The Wager


One of the classics of South American literature. ‘It is not enough to say that he is an important American novelist; he is one of the masters in either hemisphere.’ – New York Times


Aires returns home to his native Rio after many years abroad and is captivated by a young widow whom he sees praying at her husband’s graveside. Her charm and the tragic story of her brief marriage increase his fascination, and soon he is indulging in impossible dreams. But the Brazil that Aires remembers from his youth is changing fast. A new era is dawning with events such as the coming of the railway and the abolition of slavery. The future belongs to a younger generation, to men like Tristao, the doctor and political candidate, who is also an admirer of the beautiful widow. This is a story of broken dreams, love, and obsession-universal themes that give the author’s work the timeless quality for which it is renowned.