Books

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…

Share.

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…

Share.

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,…

Share.

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…

Share.

As a way of promoting knowledge about indigenous life, a new ISA (Socioenvironmental Institute) initiative sees the release of a book Mirim – Indigenous Peoples of Brazil. The book was inspired by the institution’s website, which defends the rights and environmental interests of indigenous tribes. With four chapters; ‘Who they are’, ‘Where they are’, ‘How they live’ and ‘Before Cabral’ (a reference to Pedro Álvares Cabral, Brazil’s ‘discoverer’), the book explores under-developed themes, which tend to be sources of confusion among children and young people, such as what exactly makes a person an Indian, how tribes live nowadays and generally…

Share.

If you want to improve and practice your vocabulary and brush up on your English or Portuguese, the group Meetup organizes fortnightly get-togethers for people to do just that, whilst talking about their experiences and meeting new people. The meetings take place in Holborn and are a great way to improve your language skills. The next event is scheduled for 21 September, at 7:30pm, but there will be plenty of other opportunities, with other meetings already in the diary up to 14 December. Do not miss this chance, take the opportunity and go train your language. With so many dates…

Share.

One of the most important days in the history of Brazil is 7 September, the day independence was declared. After the Portuguese royal court had returned to Portugal, Dom Pedro I insisted on staying put in Brazil, making life difficult for his relatives over in Europe, who gradually lost their grip on the colony. Letter after letter, the Portuguese implored Pedro to come back, but he stood firm, proclaiming “If it is for the common good and general happiness of the Nation, tell the people that I am staying”. The now famous saying was uttered on 9 January 1822, and…

Share.

Considered one of the all-time great western writers, Machado de Assis is in the same league as Shakespeare, Voltaire and Tolstoy. The Miss Dollar collection brings readers 10 short stories, and is one of Machado’s later works. Using simple, everyday language, the great Brazilian author touches on topics such as modernism, feminism and the development of Brazil’s socioeconomic structure, from the Empire to the Republic. Now, finally, this set of short stories has been officially translated into English, thanks to the New London Librarium. They have also translated another collection – Ex-Cathedra – which contains 21 stories. To find out…

Share.

For August, Bookclub Brazil takes a look at The Alienist, by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. The novella, written in 1881, revolves around Doctor Simão Bacamarte, a pioneering psychiatrist who founds an asylum – Green House – and loses little time in filling it with patients from the local town, using the residents as specimens to develop his theories on insanity. Bacamarte’s criteria for separating the sane from the insane are somewhat scattergun in nature, and it is not long before over half the town’s population finds itself condemned to his looney bin, a situation which brings about a crisis…

Share.

A book by Laurentino Gomes tells the story of how the Portuguese court was transferred to Brazil in 1808 In a moment of sheer horror for Europe, Napoleon’s army marched on Lisbon and the cornered Prince Regent D. João had little choice but to flee to Brazil. He and his subjects spent two months crammed aboard decrepit ships, so infested with lice that noblewomen had to shave their hair and smear their scalps with antiseptic sulphur. The food was worm infested and the water riddled with bacteria. All aboard were contaminated with illness. On arrival to Brazil João lifted a…

Share.