Piled Women

Patrícia Melo

Portuguese, Leya, Rio de Janeiro, 2019

“You don’t imagine that a guy like him, who studies Wittgenstein and practices yoga, is going to slap you in the face in the bathroom at a New Year’s party for lawyers.
But statistics show it’s common. And that many aren’t content with just a slap. They prefer to kill.”

Piled Women discusses in harsh and humorous language the urgent issue of violence against women in Brazil. The book tells the story of a young lawyer from São Paulo who, eager to escape an abusive relationship, agrees to go to Acre, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest to cover a series of trials.

While following the numerous cases of women murdered by their husbands, boyfriends or relatives, the young lawyer discovers the beauty of the forest and the dazzling and tragic reality of indigenous life.

At the same time, while taking part in rituals involving ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic drink used for mystical purposes, she rediscovers the memory of her own personal tragedy: having witnessed, at the age of four, her father kill her mother.

Patrícia Melo creates a mosaic of a Brazil that endorses the killing of women and the mass imprisonment of black people, while turning a blind eye to the crimes of the white upper and middle classes.

Text by Mertin Witt Literary Agency

Mulheres empilhadas
Leya, Rio de Janeiro
Translation rights
Jordi Roca, j.roca@mertin-litag.de
Publication date


Patrícia Melo

Patrícia Melo was born in 1962 and is a highly regarded novelist, playwright and scriptwriter. She has been awarded a number of internationally renowned prizes, including the Jabuti Prize 2001, the German LiBeraturpreis 2013 and the German Crime Award 1998 and 2014, and she was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and Time Magazine included her among the Fifty Latin American Leaders of the New Millenium.

Photo: Kyrhian Balmelli