Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fiction of Brazil

For those of you who may have already unplugged for the summer, the rest of the globe is in the throes of World Cup mania. Every four years, the fùtbol-loving public gets nationalistic and tunes in to watch match after match at all hours of the day. The host country always gets its fair share of attention as the media produces human interest stories to provide some context. This year, the world’s attention is on Brazil, and even if you’re not a sports fan, it’s an opportunity to delve into the culture, politics, and art of this BRICS emerging nation.

Fortunately, we have the Clásicos/Clássicos Latin American Masterpieces in English series. This series of translations is rich with diverse Brazilian landscapes and colorful characters and many are classics (hence the name...) of Latin American literature. So maybe when your eyes are glazed over from watching too many matches, pick up one of these books and get to know the real Brasil.

The full Clásicos/Clássicos series
laid out in a grid!
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“Colored by an intense feeling for her own people, 
by an omnipresent social consciousness”

The Three Marias

By Rachel de Queiroz

The Three Marias will be, for many non-Brazilians, an introduction to this nationally known South American author whose books have been widely praised for their artistic merits.

“an exciting novel with an unexpected plot”
Profile of a Woman
By José de Alencar

In this Brazilian novel, originally published in 1875, the heroine uses newly inherited wealth to "buy back" and exact revenge on the fiancé who had left her for a woman with a more enticing dowry.

Read an excerpt here >>
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“A classic in contemporary Brazilian literature”

Barren Lives
By Graciliano Ramos

A vivid novel about the solitary life of a peasant family in a harsh and unforgiving land, austerely told by a classic Brazilian writer.

“The author has a keen visual sense, and the reader becomes one with the part of the earth where Fabiano's life unfolds.... Barren Lives is a moving novel, one to ponder on."—Library Journal

“Social satire and experimentation in psychological realism”
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The Devil's Church and Other Stories
By Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Translated by Jack Schmitt and Lorie Ishimatsu 

The modem Brazilian short story begins with the mature work of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908), acclaimed almost unanimously as Brazil's greatest writer. In his technical mastery of the short story, Machado was decades ahead of his contemporaries and can still be considered more modern than most of the modernists themselves. That his stories elicit such strong and diverse reactions today is a tribute to their richness, complexity, and significance.

“Exquisitely crafted short stories”

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Family Ties
By Clarice Lispector
Translated by Giovanni Pontiero

Here are collected thirteen of the Brazilian writer’s most brilliantly conceived stories, where mysterious and unexpected moments of crisis propel characters to self-discovery or keenly felt intuitions about the human condition.

“Reading Clarice Lispector's novels is like listening to a stranger unravel her thoughts and then walk out of the door, leaving behind a strong sense of character but few facts about daily life. You wonder after meeting such a person whether she was real or imagined—and then decide it does not matter.”—Belles Lettres
Read excerpt here >>

The harsh setting becomes 
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“the panorama of all human life”

Memories of Lazarus
By Adonias Filho
Translated by Fred P. Ellison, Drawings by Enrico Bianco

These are the recollections of Alexandre—of his life, his death-in-life, and his ultimate death, as they are played out against the mobile tapestry of the valley where he was born.

"Memories of Lazarus, by the well-known Brazilian novelist Adonias Filho, is a strange, almost terrifyingly brutal novel which has, nevertheless, its moments of beauty. Powerfully written, it may well become a classic."—Americas

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“Three months to live.”

Who if I Cry Out
By Gustavo Corção
Translated by Clotilde Wilson

This novel is the diary of a thoughtful man facing the imminent prospect of death and trying to find the meaning of life.

A story about a mysterious beauty 
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swept up in the turmoil of the times

Hilda Hurricane
A Novel
By Roberto Drummond
Translated by Peter Vaudry-Brown

Disguised as a sexy suspense novel, this playful satire of Brazilian politics and society by one of the country’s most engaging contemporary writers was a hit with both critics and the reading public; more than 200,000 copies have been sold in Brazil.

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For the non-fiction reader

Brazil Imagined
1500 to the Present
By Darlene J. Sadlier

A sweeping survey of Brazilian representations—encompassing literature, art, propaganda, mass media, and other realms—across five centuries of evolving identity, brimming with powerful photographs.

Don't miss this: A group of Magnum photographers are posting photos of the Brazil beyond the World Cup that we highly recommend:

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