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Golden Hour Books

Role Play: A Novel by Clara Drummond (Translated by Daniel Hahn) (6/4/24)

Role Play: A Novel by Clara Drummond (Translated by Daniel Hahn) (6/4/24)

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Role Play is a fresh satire narrated by a wealthy young woman in Rio on the verge of a class-consciousness awakening.

Vivian’s gallery gig in Rio de Janeiro is more than a job. She’s a curator, not just at work but in every aspect of her life. Her apartment has designer armchairs. Her wallet is Comme des Garçons. Everything is selected and arranged, even her friends, culled from Brazil’s richest families, who play the supporting cast in Vivian’s ongoing performance of self. In Vivian’s world, everything comes in excess, including her own caustic self-awareness. As she informs us, “I’m a misandrist and a misogynist,” but she is fond of gay men, “the one type of human you can get along with as equals.”

The gravity of real life breaks through Vivian’s ongoing act when she's confronted with an unexpected and awful proximity to police violence. Can she pause long enough to recast herself in a new role, one that fits her highly staged world and can account for the random and unpredictable?

Role Play examines the superabundances of Brazilian elites, their art and ethics, and their monied ambivalence in the face of social inequality, machismo, and violence. As sharp and sparkling as broken champagne flutes, Clara Drummond’s prose is seductively frank and unflinching in its depiction of wealth's warping effects. Her third novel and her English-language debut, Role Play is a bold and hilarious book that places everything that affirms and informs the performance of self under a harsh spotlight.

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