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Paulo Scott is a Brazilian writer, translator, playwright, screenwriter, and cultural journalist. He was born in Porto Alegre in 1966 and has lived in Rio de Janeiro since 2008. Scott is a graduate of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul Law Faculty, and holds a Masters degree in Public Law from the Rio Grande do Sul Federal University, where he also lectured for ten years. He has published five books of poetry (his debut under the pseudonym Elrodris). He is also the author of four novels, a collection of short stories, and a play. Scott’s works have also appeared in various anthologies. He has been shortlisted for renowned prizes such as the Jabuti Award, the São Paulo Literature award, and the Açorianos Literature Prize (in 2004). His novel Voláteis earned him the 2005 Author of the Year Award by O Sul Journal, the Rio Grande Book Chambre, and the Rio Grande State Government awards. In 2010, he was awarded the Petrobrás Literary Creation Scholarship for the conclusion of the novel Nowhere People, winner of the National Library Foundation Award 2012. Scott won the 2014 São Paulo Association of Art Critics Award for a poetry book, and the stories from his collection Still Orangutans (Ainda orangotangos, 2003) were adapted to a movie by Brazilian filmmaker Gustavo Spolidoro, winning the Milano Film Festival in 2008. His latest novel has won the Açorianos Literature Prize for 2016.

Clarice Lispector, a novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, was known as “The great witch of Brazilian literature.” She was born in 1920 to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. As a result of the anti-Semitic violence they endured, the family fled to Brazil in 1922, and Clarice Lispector grew up in Recife. Following the death of her mother when Clarice was nine, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters, and she went on to study law. With her husband, who worked for the foreign affairs, she lived in Italy, Switzerland, England, and the United States, until they separated and she returned to Rio in 1959; she died there in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil’s greatest modern writer. She published nine novels, ten short story collections, and several essays and interview books as well as children’s books.

 

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908) is considered the greatest Brazilian writer of all times. He was a poet, novelist, and short story writer, a classic master of Brazilian and world literature, whose art is rooted in the traditions of European culture and transcends the influence of Brazilian literary schools. He was born in 1839 in Rio de Janeiro, to a house painter of mixed black and Portuguese ancestry, and was raised, after his mother’s death, by a stepmother, also of mixed parentage. Sickly, epileptic and a stutterer, he found employment at the age of 17 as a printer’s apprentice and began to write in his spare time. Soon he was publishing stories, poems, and novels in the Romantic tradition. By the age of 30, he was a typically successful Brazilian man of letters, comfortably provided for by a government position and happily married to a cultured woman, Carolina Augusta Xavier de Novais. In that year illness forced him to withdraw from his active career. He emerged from this temporary retreat with a new novel in a strikingly original style that marked a clear break with the literary conventions of the day. This was Memórias póstumas de Brás Cubas (1881), an eccentric first-person narrative with a flow of free association and digression. Machado’s reputation now rests on this work, his short stories, and two later novels, Quincas borba (1891) and his masterpiece, Dom Casmurro (1899) – a haunting and terrible journey into a mind warped by jealousy. Urbane, aristocratic, cosmopolitan, aloof, and cynical, de Assis ignored such social questions as Brazilian independence and the abolition of slavery. He failed to share Brazilian enthusiasm for local color and self-conscious nationalism. The locale of his fiction is usually Rio, which he takes for granted as though there was no other place. The natural world is practically nonexistent in his work. He writes with a deep-rooted pessimism and disillusionment that would be unbearable were it not disguised by flippancy and wit. He became the first president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1896 and held the office until his death.

 

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