In the insular Portuguese fishing community of Provincetown, Josie Carvalho’s life has been shaped by the annual influx of summer tourists and his great aunt’s fervent, if idiosyncratic, Catholicism. The counterweight to these forces has always been Josie’s relationship with his grandfather John Joseph, a drunk, clam-poaching old man who is nevertheless a sly and masterful storyteller.
After a stranger starts dating Josie’s mother and upsets the family’s equilibrium, John Joseph heals the rift with the colorful and adventurous stories of their ancestor, Francisco Carvalho, a Portuguese explorer who just may have beaten Columbus to the New World. With the guidance of these obscure but inspired tales, Josie begins to find new ways of understanding his family and the outside world. This new edition of Leaving Pico makes Frank X. Gaspar’s award-winning coming-of-age novel accessible to a new generation of readers.
“Satisfying . . . Gaspar’s novel is an expert portrait of the Portuguese immigrant experience, from its resistance to full integration.”—New York Times Book Review