Good Offices

Author(s): Evelio Rosero

Fiction | No Category

Tancredo, a young hunchback, observes and participates in the goings-on at the church in which he lives under the care of Father Almida. Also in residence are the sexton Celeste Machado, his goddaughter Sabina Cruz, and three widows known collectively as the Lilias, who do the cooking and cleaning and provide charity meals for the local poor and needy. One Thursday, Father Almida and the sexton have to rush off to meet the parish's principal benefactor, Don Justiniano. It will be the first time Father Almida has not given mass for forty years. Eventually they find a stand-in in, Father Matamoros, a drunkard with a beautiful voice whose sung mass is spellbinding to all. The Lilias prepare a sumptuous meal for Father Matamoros, who persuades them to drink with him. Over the course of the long night the women and Tancredo lose their inhibitions and confess their own sins and stories to this strange priest, as well as those of others. With a skilfully created, idiosyncratic narrator in Tancredo, and peopled with carnivalesque characters, Good Offices is a beautifully poetic, compact and vivid satire on the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church.


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Evelio Rosero is the author of seven novels and two collections of short stories, as well as of books for children. In Colombia his work has been recognized by the National Literature Award. The Armies (MacLehose Press, 2008) won the 2006 Tusquets International Novel Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009. Anne McLean has translated the novels of Javier Cercas, Julio Cortazar and Tomas Eloy Martinez, among others. She has twice won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, for Cercas' Soldiers of Salamis and Evelio Rosero's The Armies, and won the Premio Valle Inclan for Soldiers of Salamis. This is her first collaboration with Anna Milsom.

General Fields

  • : 9780857050670
  • : Quercus
  • : MacLehose Press
  • : July 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Evelio Rosero
  • : Hardback
  • : 144