Rodrigo de Souza Leão

All Dogs are Blue

All Dogs are Blue is a fiery and scurrilously funny tale of life in a Rio de Janeiro insane asylum. Our narrator is upset by his ever-widening girth and kept awake by the Rio funk blaring from a nearby favela – fair enough, but what about the undercover agents infiltrating the asylum? He misses the toy dog of his childhood, keeps high literary company with two hallucinations, Rimbaud (a mischief-maker) and Baudelaire (a bit too serious for him), and finds himself the leader of a popular cult.

All Dogs are Blue burst onto the Brazilian literary scene in 2008. Its raw style and comic inventiveness took readers by storm. But it was to be Rodrigo de Souza Leão’s last masterpiece. He died that year, aged 43, in a psychiatric clinic. ‘We’re the minority,’ says our narrator, ‘but at least I say what I want.’ All Dogs are Blue is an extraordinary autobiographical fiction that speaks of mental illness and its controversial treatment, revealing the illumination of the ill in a troubled society.

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More Info

  • With an introduction by Deborah Levy
  • All Dogs are Blue was shortlisted for the prestigious Portugal Telecom Prize in 2008 and now in English was a finalist for the Typographical Era Translation Award.
  • You can find out more about Rodrigo de Souza Leão at his website (in Portuguese).
  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before this book went to the printers, you would have received one of the first copies of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well as up to 5 other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
Print status: Available
Translator: Zoë Perry
Original language: Portuguese
Format: B-format paperback with flaps
Publication date: 1 August 2013
ISBN: 9781908276209
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276216
Availability: World
Number of pages: 128


Deborah Levy

‘Life is lived intensely and with gusto at the asylum in Rio. All Dogs are Blue kept me curious and it kept me laughing … Souza Leão is a mind-blowing poet; his attitude seems to be something like: Why not flaunt the language(s) that madness has taught me?’

Juan Pablo Villalobos

‘When I finished reading the book I was so completely taken by it that I could only think about translating it into Spanish and finding a publisher for it. That’s what I did.’

The Independent

‘Souza Leão’s autobiographical novel…weaves the lives of the poor with the insane, and poetry with psychosis.’

Justin Alvarez
The Paris Review

'Souza Leão uses a kind of language his schizophrenia has taught him, creating a poetry that’s at one moment absurd and the next heartbreakingly self-aware. It’s an innovative, original book.'

Paulo Scott, Machado de Assis Prize winning writer

‘Rodrigo de Souza Leão is an exceptional author and has had a major impact on contemporary Brazilian literature.’

Cristhiano Aguiar, one of Granta’s Best of Young Brazilian Novelists

‘Full of heart and soul, All Dogs Are Blue is one of the most powerful reading experiences I’ve had. A masterpiece.’

Lucy Popescu
Huffington Post

‘Souza Leão’s autobiographical account of schizophrenia is written with tremendous verve and perspicuity, crisply translated by Zoe Perry and Stefan Tobler. All Dogs are Blue is a profound examination of the tricks and quirks of a fragile mind and Souza Leão demonstrates with startling humour how easy it is to tip from sanity into delusion.’

Tobias Carroll
Vol. 1 Brooklyn

‘The novel’s pained, honest prose left me reeling for much of its length … the headlong rush of prose and ideas becomes breathtaking … for all of the things that we don’t know about this brief, crushingly moving book’s narrator, we do know that he was once a child; we can experience something of that innocence, and the heart at his core. It’s an indication of why we should care about this man, and what warm decency lies at the beginnings of this particular narrative.’