In eighteen exhilarating stories, Caio Fernando Abreu navigates a Brazil transformed by the AIDS epidemic and stifling military dictatorship of the ’80s. Suspended between fear and longing, Abreu’s characters grasp for connection. A man speckled with Carnival glitter crosses a crowded dance floor and seeks the warmth and beauty of another body. A budding office friendship between two young men grows into a “strange and secret harmony.” One man desires another but fears that their complot might crumble with one clumsy word or gesture. Junkies, failed revolutionaries, poets, and conflicted artists face threats at every turn. But, inwardly ferocious and resilient, they heal. For Abreu there is beauty on the horizon, mingled with the light of memory and decay.