This gritty, dryly funny book tells the story of Paulo Honório, a field hand who learns to read and write in jail, emerging with the ambition of buying and restoring to greatness the now-decrepit property where he was once a day laborer. São Bernardo, named for his ranch, is the memoir of his rise and fall, written in his own rough-hewn voice.
"...an illuminating interpretation of the novel in its own right.” —Words Without Borders
Shortlisted, Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize
Runner-up, UK Society of Authors TA First Translation Prize
I’ve been gratified beyond measure by the attention in Brazil to my translation of a Brazilian god, including letters from academics and journalists starting nerdy discussions with me on fine points–my happy place! An unexpected development has been media coverage ……
Graciliano Ramos famously came to national attention in Brazil when the annual reports he submitted to the state government, in his capacity as mayor of his hometown, mysteriously made their way into the press. Here’s the first, in my translation.
In which I ask a few questions about comparing authors and cultural dominance.
About a viral narrative lurking within a story I thought I knew.
A piece for World Literature Today on the pleasures and difficulties of rendering this novel into English.