Kramp | María José Ferrada
This book is currently at the top of my best of this year!
I read it one morning last week. I woke up at 5:30 am, indisposed and between the sleep that wouldn’t return and the silence of my house, I decided to open Kramp. I ordered it in July, but heard about it for the first time on June 3, at the Lisbon Book Fair, at the presentation of the label Questão Pentagonal. I ran a lot that day, I arrived late, but I knew it would be worth it. Antena 2 was there and you can listen to the presentation of Questão Pentagonal on the RTP website.
This label, from the Grupo Narrativa, was created by Afonso Cruz and brings us translations of unknown works, until now, in Portugal.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I really like Afonso’s writing and it’s not surprising that I was curious about what he would present to us with the Questão Pentagonal.
Kramp, by María José Ferrada and translated by Afonso Cruz, is a book that does not let us pause. Once you start reading, there’s no going back: it’s to be read straight away, even if you have to hide somewhere in your house so that no one bothers you.
D, M’s father, is a traveling salesman who believes that we can all achieve what we want. He sells Kramp nails, saws, hammers and peepholes and works with his daughter, M. They share visions, lessons and cigarettes. In chapter IV, M shows us her classification of things and, believe me, you won’t be able to stop reading.
M’s lucidity about life is incredible and the way in which this lucidity is achieved in María José Ferrada’s writing is wonderful. M has a mother and has D (who will be a father in the last pages of the book). I don’t want to spoil the reading, but these details in the writing of the book make it delicious and I will have to reread it because I feel compelled to do so by the Great Carpenter (creator of the World in M’s eyes). The way M explains the world and how it works based on Kramp products is genius.
All the characters subtly enter, with descriptions so well done that they make us want to find out more about S, F, E, C and all the others.
The life lessons that a single screw brings us, small details that we read and that turn out to be giants when we least expect it, and this crazy desire that I have to tell you every incredible sentence I read, that grabbed me, that taught me to look the other in several perspectives in this story. This book puts us in the role of mother, father, friend, child and adult. It gives us so much and so fast.
With the writing of María José Ferrada, I silently peeked through the peephole in my door and lived M’s story as if it were mine.
With this book, the author received the Art Critics Circle Award, the Best Literary Works Award from the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and the Santiago Municipal Literature Award.
What a beautiful choice, Afonso, to start the Questão Pentagonal. Next on the list to order and read is Não deixes que uma boa notícia te estrague o dia (aforismos) by Ramón Eder. I’m sure it won’t let me down.
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