The Best Chronicles of Rubem Alves

Rubem Alves is one of Brazil’s most widely read and admired writers. His passing in 2014 was mourned across the country. His warm and very human philosophy touched everyone who read his thoughts. A philosopher, theologian, and psychoanalyst, he always had an intriguing way of looking at such disparate topics as love, death, marriage, sex, music, nature, childhood, religion, sport, ritual, culture, literature, and history. He looked deeply into popcorn, ox carts, gardens, violins, record players, and other common things of secret significance. 

Alves is the author of more than 40 books. Most have been translated into various languages. This collection of essays, however, has never before been translated into English. The Foreword is by his daughter, Raquel Alves, and the Introduction is by Ana Lessa-Schmidt, Ph.D., an astute observer of Brazil culture. alves.html
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Ex Cathedra: Stories by Machado de Assis
Bilingual Edition
Edited by Glenn Alan Cheney, Luciana Tanure, and Rachel Kopit

Over 20 stories by Machado de Assis, Brazil’s most renowned writer. Most are previously untranslated. With support from Brazil’s Ministry of Culture, this unprecedented Portuguese-English edition was translated by scholars from a dozen universities in four countries. cathedra.html
Promised Land: 
A nun’s struggle to resist landlessness, lawlessness, slavery, poverty, corruption, injustice and environmental devastation in Amazônia. 

Based on Glenn Alan Cheney’s article in Harper’s Magazine, Promised Land reports on the life-and-death struggle of Sister Leonora Brunetto as she struggles to save the people and nature of Brazil’s state of Mato Grosso.  land.html
Quilombo dos Palmares: Brazil’s Lost Nation of Fugitive Slaves

Over the span of the 17th century, the Quilombo dos Palmares , a sprawling nation of fugitive slaves in northeast Brazil, fought off the world’s largest empires. With an egalitarian society and rudimentary parliamentary government, the quality of life in Palmares rivaled that of European society on the coast. The last king of Palmares is believed to have been an educated descendant of slaves. He took the name Zumbi—Lord of War—and built a citadel fortress on a mountain in northeast Brazil. There Palmares made its last stand. palmares.html
Religions in Rio
(As Religiões no Rio)
Bilingual Edition
by João do Rio
translated by Ana Lessa-Schmidt, Ph.D.

João do Rio is considered one of the most literary journalists and novelists of early 20th century Brazil. His writing is astonishingly modern, often bordering on the poetic. Religions of Rio is a deep, eclectic and modern look at the practices and beliefs within the society of Rio de Janeiro at the turn of the 19th century. The author’s insights excel on a historical (almost anthropological) account of the Afro-Brazilian religions of Candomblé and Umbanda, among others. Ana Lessa-Schmidt’s brilliant translation retains the beauty of João do Rio’s writing while rendering cultist mysteries with details, insight, precision, and grace. religionsinrio.html
Law of the Jungle:
Environmental Anarchy and the Tenharim People of Amazonia
Bilingual Edition
by Glenn Alan Cheney 
translated by Daniela Vidigal

The indigenous Tenharim people are at ground zero of the defense and destruction of Amazonia. The forest around their land has all been cut down. Now loggers are eager to take what’s left. The conflict of interests turns violent as a mob attacks and torches Tenharim villages, and then three non-indigenous men from a nearby town are found dead on Tenharim land. Similar stories are happening all over Amazonia as “capitalism” bulldozes an ancient way of life. jungle.html

New London Librarium

Brazil Series

Journey on the Estrada Real:

Encounters in the Mountains of Brazil

Brazil’s Estrada Real — the Royal Road — is the oldest road in the Americas. It was built by the Portuguese (or rather, their slaves) in 1697, from Rio de Janeiro inland to the state of Minas Gerais. Its purpose: to bring tons of gold and diamonds down to the coast for shipment to Lisbon.

The road is still there - a dirt road winding through the mountains, passing through cities and villages once opulent, now struggling to maintain their 19th century existence in a 21st century world.

Glenn Alan Cheney walked down the upper 200 miles of the Estrada Real, writing about the people, the culture, history, geography, food, and everything that happened along the way.

The Estrada Real passes through the cradle of the culture of Brazil. Journey on the Estrada Real reveals a side of Brazil few outsiders know.

Miss Dollar: Stories by Machado de Assis
Bilingual Edition

Machado de Assis is considered one of the greatest writers in Western history. He has been praised by the likes of Harold Bloom, Susan Sontag, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, and Carlos Fuentes. He has been compared to Shakespeare, Dickens, Kafka, Voltaire, Tolstoy, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, Twain, Nabokov, Becket, Swift, and Sterne. 

The Miss Dollar collection presents ten short stories never before translated into English. They represent Machado’s earlier work and his transition into his more sophisticated works of the early 1880s. Though relatively simple, at times even silly, they are surprising in their subtle revelations of modernism, feminism, and the evolution of Brazil’s rigid socio-economic class structure as it moved from an imperial to a republican government.dollar.html
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Art of Love is an exquisite collection of paintings and thoughts on the theme of love. 

Colleen Hennessy’s bright colors and broad strokes put life into people who otherwise might appear humble or shy. 

Rubem Alves, one of Brazil’s most beloved writers, uses words to put philosophical depth into the mysteries of love. The book includes three short essays and brief aphorisms for dozens of paintings. 

The book is a wonderful gift for a lover. Between the dreamlike images and the philosophical insights, it helps express the inexpressible that lovers feel but cannot say. hennessy.html
Tender Returns
Rubem Alves was kind enough to leave the world this precious set of brief essays before he passed away in 2014. Each one is a caress of thought, an appreciation of beauty, a peek at the mysterious, a reconsideration of the known, a sharing of sentiment. 

In the 38 essays in this collection, Alves touches on envy, AIDS, writers and cooks, bullshit and politics, the time to die, the burden born by doctors, candles, the terror of the mirror, the meaning of autumn, gardens, widows, love letters, love, and so much more. Hardly an essay will fail to touch on some aspect of every reader’s life. 

The essays are introduced with a foreword by the author’s daughter, who, in a style reminiscent of her father’s, reflects on her life with him. alves.html
Vertiginous Life
Bilingual Edition
Translated by Ana Lessa-Schmidt, Ph.D.
1911 — Rio de Janeiro
It was a venerable city in a new republic just a generation old. The people of Rio felt as new as the new century. A new culture of immigration and education blossomed.  New technologies of machinery—Automobiles! Airplanes!—advanced with blinding speed. Feminism! Advertisement! Democracy! Global travel! New journalism! Tea, slander, migrant camps, uppity servants! Life in Rio de Janeiro was dizzying. Vertiginous. 
João do Rio was a journalist way ahead of his time. A man of the streets, the people, the bars and restaurants, sui generis, dapper and openly gay, he approached reportage with a style all his own. He saw what others did not see, and he wrote about it with inimitable linguistic flare.vv.html
Bilingual Edition
English Edition
Good Days!
The Chronicles of Machado de Assis 1888-1889
Bilingual Edition
Translated by Ana Lessa-Schmidt and Greicy Pinto Bellin

In 1888 and 1889, Brazil’s most renowned writer, Machado de Assis, wrote a series of commentary chronicles  for the Gazeta de Notícias, published in Rio de Janeiro. This was a very exciting time to be reporting in Brazil. In 1888, slavery was abolished, and in 1889, the country ended its monarchy and adopted a republican form of government. Neither transition was easy.
This bilingual edition presents the original Portuguese and Ana Lessa-Schmidt’s astute English translation side by side for ease of literary and linguistic comparison. The Foreword by Greicy Pinto Bellin, an academic authority on all things Machadian, offers insight into the significance of these unique chronicles.
Trio in A Minor
Five Stories by Machado de Assis
Bilingual Edition
Translated by Ana Lessa-Schmidt and Glenn Alan Cheney
Foreword by Greicy Pinto Bellin
Trio in A Minor presents five stories by Brazil’s most renowned writer, Machado de Assis. Two of them—”Luiz Soares” and “Straight Line and Curved Line”—have never before been translated to English. Both are from Machado’s early, formative period. The other three—”Trio in A Minor,” “Cabriolet Anecdote,” and “Fulano”—are from his later, more literary period. Greicy Pinto Bellin, an authority on the work of Machado de Assis, explains the significance of the earlier works and how they relate to Machado’s literary development in later years.  This bilingual edition, available in paperback, hardcover, and eBook, presents the original Portuguese alongside the English translations.

To Love, intransitive verb

by Mário de Andrade, translated by Ana Lessa-Schmidt

Brazil in the 1920s was going through many transformations. A new republic was shedding old moralities. Agrarianism was urbanizing. Social mobility was cutting across classes. A nation in search of a new culture was reaching out to the sophistication of Europe.

In this setting, Mário de Andrade tells us the story of a Brazilian teen and a German woman in her mid-20s. He was born into a wealthy family; she was trying to make a living away from her country, carrying the emotional baggage of the Great War in the Old World. He was a student, she a teacher. But her lessons would soon go beyond language, literature, and music.

And she’d also learn a little something herself. Brazilian culture, in those heady boisterous years, was complicated. Love was taking on new meaning. Could love be a transitive verb, uniting subject and object? Or would it best be left intransitive, a subject all alone with an emotion?

Mário de Andrade’s unique use of language and his insights into life contributed to an upheaval in not only in Brazilian culture but in Brazilian literature, inspiring the nation’s Modernist movement. Ana Lessa-Schmidt reflects that Modernist style in her careful and creative translation.

Published with support from Brazil’s Ministry of Culture and Fundação Biblioteca Nacional.