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Little Star of Bela Lua: A Novella and Stories by Luana Monteiro (excerpt)

Little Star of Bela Lua: A Novella and Stories by Luana Monteiro (excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
Little Star of Bela Lua announces the debut of a whimsical, wise writer whose lyrical prose and playful inventiveness illuminate a profound understanding of the human heart.

Luana Monteiro grew up in Recife on the northeastern coast of Brazil and spent weekends in the remote, dusty town of Camaragibe. It was here along the river and in the deep woods that she lived a life she describes as rich with “abundant superstition, stories of beasts and ghosts.”
Little Star of Bela Lua announces the debut of a whimsical, wise writer whose lyrical prose and playful inventiveness illuminate a profound understanding of the human heart.

Luana Monteiro grew up in Recife on the northeastern coast of Brazil and spent weekends in the remote, dusty town of Camaragibe. It was here along the river and in the deep woods that she lived a life she describes as rich with “abundant superstition, stories of beasts and ghosts.”

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Jun 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/25/2014

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 Little Star of Bela Lua
By Luana Monteiro
THE OTHER DAY THIS television woman in São Paulo stuck a microphone inmy face and asked me, “What about your boyfriend, your husband—he lets you live thislife, singing all around like this?”“Look here, lady,” I told her. “No one is born tied together. They can be twins, but they still come out one at a time. The world is filled with frigid, adulteroushousewives, not female troubadours, you hear?” I have little patience for reporters andtheir impertinent questions. There’s one thing I’m certain of in this life and one thingonly: nothing will ever prevent me from traveling, singing the beauties of this world, thefortunes and misfortunes of the destitute, the meanderings of the heart. Not that I had a choice. Many times I’ve wanted to break this damned guitar inhalf, throw it against a wall, walk away from it after a
repente
duel, forget it ever existed.But I can’t, I just can’t. It’s a curse, runs in my blood. What can I do? It’s as though Goddecided to punish me for some great sin from another life, and instead of filling me withthe desire for a husband, a house, for children, like most women—especially women inthis forsaken desert, the Sertão—he gave me these rhymes that won’t leave me in peace,won’t let my feet rest in one place. I haven’t stopped moving around since that first
burro
 carried me away from my family in Bela Lua and down the stony path of the
repente
,littered with endless rhymes and guitar showdowns, territory of 
cabra machos
 —real men,the kind that would rather be caught dead than crying or smelling a flower. Whoever heard of a woman rhymester, a female
repentista
? Especially in those days, when Istarted. Although I was only a child, my name already graced the tip of everyone’s
 
 tongue: “Senhor Batista’s youngest, Valquíria, turned out a rhymester, poor man. A lostgirl.”They might as well have called me a
 puta
. But now I’ve traveled by airplane,across oceans, over continents. I’m sure
 painho
, my dear father, would love to see theway men tremble when I stroll into a salon, guitar slung across my shoulder, how theylower their hats over their eyes and whisper to one another. How their faces whiten whenI challenge them to a duel and they look at their watches and suddenly have to run homefor dinner, pick up a child from school, attend a doctor’s appointment, make a bedsidevisit to a dying mother. Oh yes, were he still alive, my father would be proud of therhymester I’ve become. After all, he steered me in this direction—and each time I strike achord I still see the same sad smile with which he handed me my first guitar, just a week  before my thirteenth birthday.At that age I’d only witnessed two duels, both in the main square of Bela Lua andon the same hot Saint John’s night: one Pinto Zarazua versus Cartolinha, the other ChicoAzevedo versus Gonzaga do Agreste. I don’t know who, if anyone, won. I just remember strong silence inside me, my organs shutting down, blood, brain, heart. I marched home,gathered all my dolls into a potato sack, and pushed them at the girl next door.When Father asked what I would like for my birthday, I didn’t hesitate. My brother, that sanctimonious skinflint, fought him all the way: “Don’t give it to her,Father; it will be the death of our name.”But
 painho
peered into my eyes and said, “Is this what you truly want, daughter?A guitar?”And I said yes. So he put on his hat and went out to track down this guitar.My brother said, “Father is crazy, he’s going to buy a guitar, and the girl hasnever written a verse in her life.”

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