Books

The first Book Club of 2017, a monthly initiative put on by the Embassy of Brazil in London, will be a discussion about one of the best-known works of Brazilian author Luís Fernando Veríssimo, ‘The Spies’. The story is a hybrid allegory of mythology, comedy and mystery: still recovering from the weekend’s hangover, a member of staff at a small publishing house receives a white envelope, with faint handwriting. Inside are the first few pages of a book of confessions written by someone calling themselves Ariadne. However, the protagonist and his drinking buddies, the spies, soon find themselves under Ariadne’s…

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A new initiative designed to spread both the influence of Portuguese, the fifth most spoken language in the world, and that of the Brazilian culture was launched recently in London. The project also aims to strengthen the language bond amongst the Portuguese-speaking community in the UK. The library houses books written by Brazilian writers, as well as works by foreign authors whose work has been translated into Portuguese. The goal is to serve anyone who is either interested in the teaching and learning of the Portuguese language, or simply in discovering more about Brazil’s culture and literature. Where: 64-66 Willesden…

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15 December: Meu Pé de Laranja Lima – José Mauro de Vasconcelos – 1968 The next meeting of Bookclub Brazil is going to happen on 15 December and the book chosen is Meu Pé de Laranja Lima by José Mauro de Vasconcelos. A fascinating piece of Brazilian literature, Meu Pé de Laranja-Lima is an easy read and is even enjoyed by those who do not particularly like reading. The story is about Zezé. Born into a poor and humble family, the boy becomes attached to an orange tree following a move to a new home, and a friendship is born. As an…

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The next meeting of Bookclub Brazil is going to happen on 17 November and the book chosen is Memórias de um Sargento de Milícias by Manuel Antonio de Almeida (Memoirs of a Militia Sergeant). Considered a must-read, Memórias de um Sargento de Milícias is a great representation of the era of romanticism in Brazil. The book shows what life was like in Rio de Janeiro in the early 19th Century and was the first time that Brazilian literature depicted the character of a trickster. The plot is complex, written in a serial format, and grips the reader using short chapters. The story centres…

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The Embassy of Brazil in London is set to hold a debate in honour of the release of a new book: “Lima Barreto – sátiras e Outras subversões” (Lima Barreto – satires and other subversions). The new work is a collection of recently discovered texts by the Brazilian writer Lima Barreto (1881-1922), who is known to have used various pen names. With an introduction from Dr. Felipe Botelho Correa (King’s College London), who was responsible for putting the collection together, the book brings together a host of chronicles which appeared in Brazilian magazines such as “Fon-Fon” and “Careta”, at the…

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Paulo Coelho’s 19th title, launched internationally in September, brings us the story of Mata Hari, who continues to capture our imagination We have no doubt about it, even if you have never read any of his books; you know who Paulo Coelho is. After all, the numbers do not lie: The Alchemist – the best-selling Brazilian book of all time – is revered as an important literary phenomenon of the 20th century. His books are in circulation in over 150 countries and have already been translated into 66 languages. He has worked as a director and playwright, journalist and composer.…

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The Embassy of Brazil in London has programmed a special evening with the writer Jorge Sá Earp. Born in Rio de Janeiro, the poet, novelist, diplomat and storyteller Jorge Sá Earp has a unique writing style. With a Language Degree from Rio’s PUC, he has lived in Poland, Holland, Gabon, Belgium, Romania and Ecuador. He is the author of 15 books and is a member of PEN Brasil. Jorge will be talking about his book Ponto de Fuga (Escape Point). The story revolves around four main characters, and is based in Brasilia, Brazil’s capital. Each chapter is narrated by one…

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Learning using books and stories. The very first Portuguese language book fair for children took place on Sunday, 25 September in Stockholm. The fair was organised by PortCast, an amazing platform for teaching Portuguese to foreign adults. When possible, I always participate with my son in these types of activities. I believe that when we raise children in a country where a language other than our own is spoken, it’s very important to take part in events that promote Portuguese. Our language is our culture, our heritage, our identity. The fair was very special since there were many Portuguese people…

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Avalovara is a masterpiece of Brazilian literature, this novel by Osman Lins has an unusual characteristic that deserves full recognition: the story is told through the literary structure known as Quadrado Sator, which is nothing more than a magic square. Based on the palindrome sator arepo tenet opera (Latin), the novel unfolds as an analogy of the narrative construction, that is, no matter which way you choose to read the book the meaning of the story is the same. The text explores the square and spiral shapes, merging all the stories into one. The author’s influences were great novels like Werther,…

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Many Brazilian parents who live in the UK have problems when it comes to teaching their offspring their mother tongue, or arrive in the UK with a relatively low level of English. This has a knock on effect of meaning that sometimes these parents don’t make much of a habit of reading to their children. Reading is absolutely crucial for a child’s development and any kind of incentive is brilliant if it can get little ones interested in picking up a book. As a way of helping out parents, it is now much easier to get hold of books in…

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