World Cup Literature from Brazil


Mention Brazil and pretty much everybody around here will think you mean the FIFA 2014 World Cup.


When I think of Brazil however, I feel a slight tinge of guilt for not having read any Brazilian literature last summer even though Brazil was the Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair last fall.


I remember walking around the Brazilian pavilion at the book fair and how they had these pillars of paper, glued together on one side like over dimensional notepads. Each pillar of paper was made of printed sheets dedicated to a specific character from a Brazilian book, one pillar per character, so one could walk around tearing off sheets from the pillars to take home. Each sheet has information about the character in question, the author and book, as well as a short excerpt, all in Portuguese, English and German. (see photo below)

Dona Flor page from the Brazilian pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2013
Dona Flor page from the Brazilian pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2013


I ended up with the following authors: Jorge Amado, Chico Buarque, Manuel Antônio de Almeida, Luis Fernando Verissimo, Raduan Nassar, Machado de Assis, Dalton Trevisan, Ariano Suassuna, Clarice Lispector, and Erico Verissimo.


My problem is that they all sound good!  So I figured that since the World Cup goes on until July 13th, I should manage to read one Brazilian novel and drink a caipirinha by then to make up a little bit for last summer.

After shuffling throught these sheets of paper a few times, I decided upon Dona Flor and her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado and Budapest by Chico Buarque, which I will read in English. Both are also available in German.

So I am a bit late with this, but another good thing about books is that they have a long shelf life!


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