About The Book


THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF EURIDICE GUSMAO tells the corageous story of Euridice Gusmao. born on Rio de Janeiro to Portuguese during the 1920s. She is an extremely resourceful women, with ambitious goals, However, neither her parents nor her husband. Antenor – an earnest yet stern bank employee – are supportive of her many inventive endeavors. Her sister, Guida, runs away after meeting the prestigious doctor marcos, only to be burdened with the consequences of single parenting once he abandons the marriage around 1940. Intertwining these two powerful narratives, the author paints an enlightening picture of the progressive women of the era, and the struggles they faced while attempting to carve their own place in a male-dominated society.

As the reader follows the misadventures of both sisters on their quest to happiness and fulfillment, we are introduced to an array of amusing characters: Zelia, Euridice’s hilariously bitter neighbor keen on spreading rumors through the grapevine; Zelia’s father, Alvaro; Filomena, a former prostitute who poses as child caregiver; and Maria das Dores, Euridice’s  ardworking maid. Another pivotal character is the bachelor Antonio, who lives with his abrasive hypochondriac mother, Eulalia, while in constant pursuit of Euridice’s and then Guida’s attention.

As Rio de Janeiro grows into its unique brand of cosmopolitan flare in the early 20th century, the author guides us through the journey of these two equally resilient women, a narrative told from their points of view. It will not be long until they realize that all the joy and fulfillment they crave are, in fact, hidden in places they have never imagined before.


“If I had to choose only one literary asset amongst the lot that makes The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão such a remarkable narrative, I would point its most unique trait, one that enhances the state of the contemporary Brazilian novel itself: its piercing, unabashed and most of all, incredibly clever sense of humor.” – Alberto Mussa, writer

“There are writers that pride themselves in writing about their own neighbourhood as though it could encapsulate the entire universe. Martha M. Batalha is no such writer. Her novel The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão encompasses not only a vast Rio de Janeiro, from North to South and across Downtown, but also spans for 80 years – from 1880 through 1960 – in order to tell the story of numerous families ruled by beautiful, stubborn women. It is an epic saga, a roman-fleuve. The difference is that Martha, a contemporary author, combines drama and humor with a savoir-faire unfailabely modern.” – Ruy Castro, writer

“In a clever and unusual way, Batalha takes the reader for a journey in the streets of the old Rio de Janeiro, filled with amusing tales told through its array of memorable characters. It’s a fun and delightful novel that makes one reflect about our own past and present.” – Carlos Saldanha, film director