Original title: Capitães da areia (1937)
Author: Jorge Amado
Translator: Gregory Rabassa

Captains of the Sand is a fine book from Amado’s early more politically and socially focused period of work and was first published in Brazil in 1937. Seventy-odd years later it becomes a book with a new relevance — as a lively portrait of a gang of ‘street children’, now seen as a rising social problem in Latin America’s cities. It is clear from Amado’s sympathetic and well-thought out narrative that this is not a new problem: children were already detaching themselves from, or being abandoned by, fractured families existing in such precariousness that even minimal care for children was impossible. Although there is a documentary intent in Captains of the Sand its romantic title already suggests that Amado wanted to create a lyrical, ‘legendary’ form for his story of a group of abandoned, mainly Black, children in Salvador da Bahia in North-Eastern Brazil. Amado’s legend is linked in with the legendary bandit Lampião, a backlands Robin Hood, reminding us that fashionable ‘Afro’ Bahia has, like Brazil in general, a large hinterland of maltreated peasants and labourers, whose heroes have often been ‘social bandits’ like Lampião.” (This is an excerpt of a review by Ray Keenly, at Babel Guide to Brazilian Fiction, Boulevard Books, 2001)


Captains of the Sands_Jorge Amado

Series: Penguin Classics
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (June 25, 2013)
Translator: Gregory Rabassa
ISBN-10: 014310635X
ISBN-13: 978-0143106357
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