“Mulheres Empilhadas” (Pilled Up Women), by Patrícia Melo, will be released in the US by Restless Books


Mertin Witt announced in December 2021 that the American publisher Restless Books purchased the publishing copyright for the book “Mulheres Empilhadas” (Pilled Up Women) in the United States. The novel, written by the Brazilian Patrícia Melo, is planned to be published in North America in the second half of 2023. Restless Books won the Jabuti Award 2018, in the Brazilian Book Published Abroad category, for the work “The End”, by Fernanda Torres.

“Mulheres Empilhadas” (Pilled Up Women), published in Brazil by LeYa, has hit the bookstores in October 2019 and is the most recent work of the 12 books written by Patrícia in her 25-year career. The rights to the book have already been sold in Germany by Unionsverlag, in Italy by Bompiani Libri, and in France by Actes Sud. In addition, the work was selected by Pro Helvetia Foundation’s translation support program in Switzerland.

The novel features both rough and poetic language, revolving around the career of a lawyer who follows the systematic killings of women in Brazil. Although it is a fictional work, the characters are real. The focus of the work is entirely female and plural. All the protagonists are women, whether girls or adults, fat and thin, white, black, brown, indigenous, from different education and social class backgrounds. The narrative is real and precise, but Patrícia also creates fantasy chapters based on the legend of the Icamiabas, a tribe of Amazonian warriors who fight against oppressors. In this parallel universe, the main character, a lawyer from São Paulo, unites with the indigenous women, who together create a utopian society of women. In this group, they hunt, judge, and annihilate the men who come out unscathed in real-life justice.

Patrícia Melo is a screenwriter, playwright, visual artist, and an award-winning and renowned writer of contemporary Brazilian literature. She won the Jabuti Award for Literature (2001) in the best novel category for “Inferno” (Hell), published by Companhia das Letras, and won the German award Deutscher Krimi-Preis twice, for “O matador” (The Killer) (1998), also from the same publisher, and for “Ladrão de Cadáveres” (Corpse Thief) (2014), published by Rocco. She also won the LIBeraturpreis, in Germany, and the Deux Océans, in France. Her works are usually related to the detective genre, but Melo prefers to call them urban fiction. She was ranked by the American magazine Time in 1999 among the five best Latin American authors of the new millennium.

“Mulheres Empilhadas” (Pilled Up Women) is Patrícia’s first book with a female theme and protagonism and brings a number of necessary reflections on the experiences of women today.