The Centaur in the Garden by Moacyr Scliar
Named one of the 100 best Jewish works of the twentieth century by the National Yiddish Book Center, The Centaur in the Garden is reminiscent of the Chagall paintings in which scenes of everyday Jewish life are tenderly and oddly transmuted into fantasy.
Set in southern Brazil, in one of the immigrant colonies established early in the twentieth century, it chronicles the struggles of a Jewish farming family who find their lives further complicated when their youngest son, Guedali, is inexplicably born a centaur.
For Scliar this dislocation was emblematic of being Jewish in Brazil, even in 1980 when he first published O Centaur no jardim. Through progressive life stages and ribald adventures the young Guedali embraces, assimilates, questions, and eventually discovers his actual identity.
Paperback book 2011