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Industrial Park: A Proletarian Novel

Original title: Parque Industrial
Author: Patrícia Galvão (Pagu)
Translator: Elizabeth Jackson, K. David Jackson

A member of Brazil’s avant-garde in its heyday. Patricia Galvão (or to use her nickname, Pagu) was extraordinary. Not only was her work among the most exciting and innovative published in the 1930s, it was unique in portraying an avant-garde woman’s view of women in São Paulo during that audacious period. Industrial Park, first published in 1933, is Galvão’s most notable literary achieve-ment. Like Doblin’s portrayal of Berlin in Alexanderplatz or Biely’s St Petersburg, it is a book about the voices, clashes, and traffic of a city in the middle of rapid change. It includes fragments of public documents as well as dialogue and narration, giving a panorama of the city in a sequence of colorful slices. The novel dramatizes the problems of exploitation, poverty, racial prejudice, prostitution, state repression, and neocolonialism, but it is by no means a doctrinaire tract. Galvao’s ironic wit pervades the novel, aspiring not only to describe the teeming city but also to put art and politics in each other’s service. Like many of her contemporaries Galvao was a member of the Brazilian Communist Party. She attracted Party criticism for her unorthodox behavior and outspokenness. A visit to Moscow in 1934 disenchanted her with the communist state, but she continued to militate for change upon returning to Brazil. She was imprisoned and tortured under the Vargas dictatorship between 1935 and 1940. In the 1940s she returned to the public through her journalism and literary activities. She died in 1962. (Source: publisher)

Industrial Park_Pagu

Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: University of Nebraska (1 Nov. 1993)
Translator: Elizabeth Jackson, K. David Jackson
ISBN-10: 0803270410
ISBN-13: 978-0803270411
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Diary of the Fall

Original title: Diário da queda (2011)
Author: Michel Laub
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa

Shortlisted for the 2016 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

‘I often dreamed about the moment of the fall, a silence that lasted a second, possibly two, a room full of sixty people and no one making a sound, as if everyone were waiting for my classmate to cry out … but he lay on the ground with his eyes closed’

A schoolboy prank goes horribly wrong, and a thirteen-year-old boy is left injured. Years later, one of the classmates relives the episode as he tries to come to terms with his demons.

Diary of the Fall is the story of three generations: a man examining the mistakes of his past, and his struggle for forgiveness; a father with Alzheimer’s, for whom recording every memory has become an obsession; and a grandfather who survived Auschwitz, filling notebook after notebook with the false memories of someone desperate to forget.

Michel Laub’s novel asks the most basic – and yet most complex – questions about history and identity, exploring what stories we choose to tell about ourselves and how we become the people we are. (Source: publisher)

Diary of the Fall_2_Michel Laub

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Harvill Secker (3 April 2014)
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
ISBN-10: 1846557321
ISBN-13: 978-1846557323
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Diary of the Fall_3_Michel Laub

Hardcover: 225 pages
Publisher: Other Press (NY); Reprint edition (26 Aug. 2014)
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
ISBN-10: 1590516516
ISBN-13: 978-1590516515
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Diary of the Fall_Michel Laub

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage (16 April 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0099581795
ISBN-13: 978-0099581796
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Original title: K. – Relato de uma Busca (2011)
Author: Bernardo Kucinski
Translator: Sue Branford

Shortlisted for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

A remarkable novel written by the Brazilian journalist Bernardo Kucinski. K is the story of a father who searches desperately for his daughter, ‘disappeared’ during the military dictatorship in Brazil. The father is himself a refugee from Poland in the 1930s. He is racked by feelings of guilt—that because he was immersed in his Yiddish writing and scholarship, he did not really know his daughter or the danger that threatened her. The novel is based on a true story – the disappearance of Kucinski’s younger sister in 1973. As the author says, ‘Everything in this book is invented but almost everything happened’. The first Brazilian edition sold out in a few weeks, and the novel has been shortlisted for literary awards in Brazil and Portugal. (Source: publisher)

K_Bernardo Kucinski

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Latin America Bureau (29 Jan. 2013)
Translator: Sue Branford
ISBN-10: 189936577X
ISBN-13: 978-1899365777
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Original title: Helena (1876)
Author: Machado de Assis
Translator: Helen Caldwell

In 1850 Rio de Janeiro, Estacio tries to uncover the mysterious past of Helena, his presumed half sister, who has been brought to the family home and with whom he falls in love.

Helena_Machado de Assis

Hardcover: 197 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (1984)
Translator: Helen Caldwell
ISBN-10: 0520048121
ISBN-13: 978-0520048126
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Paperback: 197 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (1987)
Translator: Helen Caldwell
ISBN-10: 0520060253
ISBN-13: 978-0520060258
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Counselor Ayres’ Memorial / The Wager: Aires’ Journal

Original title: Memorial de Aires (1908)
Author: Machado de Assis
Translator: Various, see each edition below

The last of Machado de Assis’s novels, published in 1908, the year of his death, Counselor Ayres’ Memorial has been regarded as his swan- song and, given its melancholic tone, his ‘reconciliation with life’. In fact it is much more interesting than that. Its central character is Counselor Ayres, a Brazilian diplomat who has retired to Rio de Janeiro after many years abroad. The novel purports to be his diary for the period between January 1888 and August 1889: in fact, it soon becomes plain to the reader that it also tells a story, centred on an old married, and childless couple, Aguiar and Dona Carmo, and two young people, now in their twenties, the widow Fidélia and Tristão, in whom they have taken an intense interest. Fidélia’s marriage was happy, but brief: she also braved the anger of her father, the plantation owner Baron of Santa Pia, to marry the son of a traditional enemy of his. Her husband died in Lisbon, and she has gone into permanent mourning, swearing never to marry again; in the two years since his death, she has visited his grave daily. Tristão is the son of friends of Aguiar and Dona Carmo, and was virtually adopted by them as a child; later, rather than go into his father’s business, he decides to get a lawyer’s degree and finally to go to Europe with his parents. (This is an excerpt of a review by John Gledson, at Babel Guide to Brazilian Fiction, Boulevard Books, 2001)

The Wager_2_Machado de Assis

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers (Mar. 1990)
Translated as: The Wager: Aires’ Journal
Translator: R.L. Scott-Buccleuch
ISBN-10: 0720607728
ISBN-13: 978-0720607727
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Ayres Memorial_Machado de Assis

Hardcover: 205 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (1 July 1992)
Translated as: Counselor Ayres’ Memorial
Translator: Helen Caldwell
ISBN-10: 0520022270
ISBN-13: 978-0520022270
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Ayres Memorial_2_Machado de Assis

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (1 July 1992)
Translated as: Counselor Ayres’ Memorial
Translator: Helen Caldwell
ISBN-10: 0520047753
ISBN-13: 978-0520047754
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The Wager_Machado de Assis

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Peter Owen; New Ed edition (1 July 2005)
Translated as: The Wager: Aires’ Journal
Translator: R.L. Scott-Buccleuch
ISBN-10: 0720612306
ISBN-13: 978-0720612301
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Quiet Creature on the Corner

Original title: O quieto animal da esquina (1991)
Author: João Gilberto Noll
Translator: Adam Morris

Ranked alongside leading Latin American writers like César Aira and Mario Bellatín—and deeply influenced by Clarice Lispector—João Gilberto Noll is esteemed as one of Brazil’s living legends.

Quiet Creature on the Corner marks Noll’s English-language debut. An unemployed poet finds himself thrown in jail after inexplicably raping his neighbor, but his time in the slammer is mysteriously cut short when he’s abruptly taken to a new home—a countryside manor where his every need seen to. All that’s required of him is to . . . write poetry. Just who are his captors, Kurt and Otávio? What of the alluring maid, Amália, and her charge, a woman with cancer named Gerda? And, most alarmingly of all, why does Kurt suddenly appear to be aging so much faster than he should?

Reminiscent of the films of David Lynch, and written in Noll’s distinctive postmodern style—a strange world of surfaces seemingly without rational cause and effect—Quiet Creature on the Corner is a bizarre existential mystery with deep implications. Written during Brazil’s transition from military dictatorship to democracy—and capturing the disjointed feel of that rapidly changing world—Quiet Creature is mysterious and abrupt, pivoting on choices that feel both arbitrary and inevitable. Like Kazuo Ishiguro, Noll takes us deep into the mind of person who’s always missing a few crucial pieces of information. Is he moving toward an answer, or is he just as lost as ever? (Source: publisher)

Quiet Creature on the Corner_Joao Gilberto Noll

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Two Lines Press; Tra edition (May 10, 2016)
Translator: Adam Morris
ISBN-10: 1931883513
ISBN-13: 978-1931883511
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Journey to Bahia

Original title: O pagador de promessas (1961)
Author: Dias Gomes
Translator: Stanley Richards

Joe, a simple, idealistic young Brazilian farmer, carries a wooden cross thirty miles to fulfill a promise he has made to Saint Barbara. In a desperate effort to save the life of his beloved donkey, Joe, a devout Catholic, made a promise at an Afro-Brazilian voodoo rite known as “candomble.” When the donkey lives Joe and his wife, Rose, undertake the long and arduous journey through the backlands carrying a cross, intending to place it at the altar of the Church of Saint Barbara in the seaport city of Bahia. But upon arrival Joe meets opposition from a dogmatic priest, who regards the promise as voodoo-inspired and refuses to permit Joe to enter the church. Joe stubbornly encamps on the church steps, vowing to remain until he delivers his cross to the altar. His less-than-idealistic and weary wife, Rose, urges him to forget the promise and return home. Joe’s integrity, however, remains steadfast. In weariness and frustration, Rose succumbs to the enticements of a handsome young man, while Joe becomes a target for personal exploitation by an unscrupulous newspaper, corrupt politicians and a colorful assortment of townspeople. (Source: Dramatist Play Services)

Dias Gomes’ most famous play was first produced in São Paulo on July 29, 1960, and won three Brazilian prizes during the year. It was adapted to the screen as Keeper of Promises and won Brazil’s first Golden Palm at at the at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival, and in 1963 it became the first Brazilian and South American film nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

It seems that a translation by Oscar Fernández called “Payment as Promised” appeared in 1967.

Journey to Bahia_Dias Gomes

Paperback: 79 pages
Publisher: Brazilian American Cultural Institute, 1964
Translator: Stanley Richards
ISNB – I can not find this information. Please help if you know it!
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Rio de Janeiro: Extreme City

Original title: Rio de Janeiro: Histórias de Vida e Morte (2015)
Author: Luiz Eduardo Soares
Translator: Anthony Doyle

A book as rich and sprawling as the seductive metropolis it evokes, Rio de Janeiro builds a kaleidoscopic portrait of this city of extremes, and its history of conflict and corruption. Award-winning novelist, ex-government minister and sociologist Luiz Eduardo Soares tells the story of Rio through the everyday lives of its people: gangsters and police, activists, politicians and struggling migrant workers, each with their own version of the city. Taking us on a journey into Rio’s intricate world of favelas, beaches and corridors of power, Soares reveals one of the most extraordinary cities in the world in all its seething, agonistic beauty. (Source: publisher)

Rio de Janeiro Extreme City_Luiz Eduardo Soares
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Penguin (5 May 2016)
Translator: Anthony Doyle
ISBN-10: 1846148022
ISBN-13: 978-1846148026
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Miss Dollar

Original title: –
Author: Machado de Assis
Translators: Ana Lessa-Schmidt and Greicy Pinto Bellin

This is a bilingual edition with the Portuguese original alongside the English translation.

Ten short stories by Brazil’s most renowned writer. Most come from his earlier, formative years, stories never before translated into English. Though lacking the literary sophistication of Machado’s later work, these stories illustrate and dramatize the intricate social workings of nation growing out of the Portuguese roots of kings and courtiers and into the new rules of a new republic in a rapidly changing world. The preface by Ana Cláudia Suriani da Silva and the introduction by Greicy Pinto Bellin, both respected Machadian researchers, give the reader literary insight into what is happening between the lines of these stories. Generous notes provide background information on Brazilian culture. (Source: Publisher)

Miss Dollar_Machado de Assis

Paperback: 548 pages
Publisher: New London Librarium (May 17, 2016)
Translators: Ana Lessa-Schmidt and Greicy Pinto Bellin
ISBN-10: 0996674748
ISBN-13: 978-0996674744
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Captains of the Sand

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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Brief Space Between Color and Shade

Original title: Breve Espaço entre a Cor e a Sombra (1998), revised as Breve Espaço in 2013
Author: Cristóvão Tezza
Translator: Alan R. Clarke

Winner of the 1998 Machado de Assis Award for Best Novel from the National Library of Brazil

In a period of just three days, everything changes for young painter Eduardo “Tato” Simmone, who has never sold a painting. During the funeral for Tato’s renowned mentor, Aníbal Marsotti, Tato meets two people who will determine his fate: a beautiful young woman—a mysterious “vampire”—and a major art dealer. When his studio is ransacked and he is attacked, Tato gets caught up in the intrigue surrounding a stone sculpture by famed Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. A letter from an Italian art historian he met a year before provides clues about the shadowy origins of the statue, but Tato must untangle for himself the dark threads of other people’s fears. As he works through the mystery, Tato discovers a similarity between viewing a painting and the human heart: closer examination shows there is more to each than originally meets the eye. (Source: Publisher)

Breve Espaço_Cristovao tezza

Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: AmazonCrossing (August 19, 2014)
ranslator: Alan R. Clarke
ISBN-10: 1477819517
ISBN-13: 978-1477819517
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Religions in Rio

Original title: As Religiões no Rio (1904)
Author: Paulo Barreto (aka João do Rio) 
Translator Ana Lessa-Schmidt

João do Rio (1881-1921) was a literary journalist before his time, before the term existed, before anyone saw that journalism could be raised to the level of art by infusing it with intellectual insight and sociological analysis.

He went wherever necessary to observe life as Rio de Janeiro struggled to enter the 20th century while clinging to its traditional imperial politics and lifestyle. He flaunted his homosexuality a century before it became socially acceptable.

Here, for the first time in English, are João do Rio’s reports on the bizarre confluence of European, North American, and African religions that found adherents in Rio de Janeiro. Candomblé, Spiritism, Positivism, Satanism, Judaism, the Cult of the Sea, the New Jerusalem, the Physiolaters, the Priestesses, the Evangelicals…they all fell under his scrutiny.

Here, for the first time in English, alongside the original Portuguese, are João do Rio’s reports on the bizarre confluence of European, North American, and African religions that found adherents in Rio de Janeiro. Candomblé, Spiritism, Positivism, Satanism, Judaism, the Cult of the Sea, the New Jerusalem, the Physiolaters, the Priestesses, the Evangelicals…they all fell under his scrutiny.

Ana Lessa-Schmidt’s translation of As Religiões no Rio, brilliant and true to the original, brings João do Rio’s insight and revelations to full light. Just as João do Rio took readers down the dark streets of the low-life and into dark houses of worship, Lessa-Schmidt’s translation takes readers into one of the world’s most glorious and mysterious cities during its post-imperial heyday at the turn of the 20th century. (Source: publisher)

Religions in Rio_João do Rio


Paperback: 410 pages
Publisher: New London Librarium (June 25, 2015)
Translator Ana Lessa-Schmidt
ISBN-10: 0990589986
ISBN-13: 978-0990589983
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Tropical Truth: A Story Of Music And Revolution In Brazil

Original title: Verdade Tropical (1997)
Author: Caetano Veloso
Translator: Isabel de Sena

Rebelling against the Elvis-based, American-imported rock scene in late ’60s Brazil, Caetano Veloso suffused lyrical Brazilian folksongs with fuzz guitar, avant-jazz, and electronic music-and in doing so blew apart the status quo of Brazilian culture. Caetano and the movement he catalyzed, tropicalia, urged an adoption of personal freedom in politics, music, and lifestyle. His “rabble-rousing,” as the government saw it, would get Caetano and his comrade Gilberto Gil arrested and exiled to London to wait out the military dictatorship. His fame increasing by the year, Caetano focused on writing songs about his homeland, returning to Brazil as a national hero-a mantle he still wears today. His most recent album, Live in Bahia, was released to international critical and popular acclaim. (Source: publisher)

tropical truth_Caetano Veloso

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (September 24, 2002)
Translator: Isabel de Sena
ISBN-10: 037540788X
ISBN-13: 978-0375407888
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tropical truth_2_Caetano Veloso

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (21 July 2003)
Translator: Isabel de Sena
ISBN-10: 0747568014
ISBN-13: 978-0747568018
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tropical truth_Caetano Veloso

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (October 9, 2003)
Translator: Isabel de Sena
ISBN-10: 0306812819
ISBN-13: 978-0306812811
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Hallucinated City

Original title: Paulicéia Desvairada (1922)
Author: Mário de Andrade
Translator: Jack E. Tomlins

Published in 1922, Mário de Andrade’s Paulicéia desvairada is considered his first truly personal, if uneven, book of poetry. One of the characteristics of this volume is the opening declaration to the effect that São Paulo is the tumult of his life, and critics have customarily remarked on the organizing presence of the city in the volume. […] Paulicéia desvairada represents what can be called the urbanization of poetry, and proceeds to examine, in a way previous criticism has failed to do, the incorporation of the material reality of the city into this highly significant inaugural text of Brazilian modernism. (By David William Foster, in Mário De Andrade: On Being São Paulo-wise in Paulicéia Desvairada)

Hallucinated City_Mario de Andrade

Hardcover: 100 pages
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press (1968)
Translator: Jack E. Tomlins
Bilingual edition
ISBN 10: 0826511139 
ISBN 13: 9780826511133
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Bom-Crioulo: The Black Man and the Cabin Boy

Original title: Bom-Crioulo (1895)
Author: Adolfo Caminha
Translator: E.A. Lacey

The novel was the first major literary work on homosexuality to be published in Brazil, and one of the first to have a black person as its hero. The novel caused a stir upon its publication but was almost forgotten in the first half of the 20th century. In the second half of the 20th century, the novel has been republished several times in Brazil and translated into English, Spanish, German, French and Italian.

Bom Criolo_Adolfo Caminha

Paperback: 141 pages
Publisher: Gay Sunshine Pr (June 1982)
Translator: E.A. Lacey
ISBN-10: 0917342887
ISBN-13: 978-0917342882
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Barren Lives

Original title: Vidas Secas (1938)
Author: Graciliano Ramos
Translator: Ralph Edward Dimmick

Dating back to 1938 this is one of the all-time great velvels of rural existence in Brazil, telling of the life of a small migrant family (and their dog) in the harsh social and ecological conditions of the drought- plagued state of Alagoas. In an elementally sparse ranching landscape of scrubland and marginal pastures Ramos studies his family in separate chapters, one by one, from the leathery, ignorant father down to the most sympathetic member, the family dog and these chapters somehow seem to be exactly the right length. We share the realities of their lives, including a brush with the law, the experience of winter, huddling around the fireplace and then the overwhelming impact of a town on the two little boys visiting one for the first time, kids who have never seen other people before. (This is an excerpt of a review by David Treece and  Ray Keenly, at Babel Guide to Brazilian Fiction, Boulevard Books, 2001)

Vidas Secas was adapted into a highly praised film by Nelson Pereira dos Santos (1963) and would become a landmark for the Cinema Novo movement.

Barren Lives_2_Gracialiano Ramos

Paperback: 165 pages
Publisher: University of Texas Press (January 1971)
Translator: Ralph Edward Dimmick
ISBN-10: 0292701330
ISBN-13: 978-0292701335
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Barren Lives_Gracialiano Ramos

Hardcover: 168 pages
Publisher: Univ of Texas Press (June 1965)
Translator: Ralph Edward Dimmick
Illustrator: Charles Umlauf
ISBN-10: 0292731728
ISBN-13: 978-0292731721
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Silence River

Original title: Rio Silêncio (2004)
Author: Antonio Moura
Translator: Stefan Tobler

Antonio Moura’s third collection has the clarity and urgency of a black and white woodcut. A playful collusion of experimental and traditional poetic styles, this collection has both a powerful mythic reach and a bizarre neo-Baroque flavour. Life appears as uncanny, mysterious, something to be faced by the individual. There is a tension between spiritual insight and the sordid realities of life, between the world of today and that of previous eras, between the wider picture and the intensely personal. Moura’s rhythms and his questioning of contemporary assumptions about poetry and our lives make this a powerful and distinctive – and one might say a very ‘Brazilian’ – book.

Silence River_ Antonio Moura

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Arc Publications (March 17, 2012)
Translator: Stefan Tobler
ISBN-10: 1906570671
ISBN-13: 978-1906570675
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Don Juan’s Bar: A Novel

Original title: Bar Dom Juan (1971)
Author: Antonio Callado
Translator: Barbara Shelby

This amazing “revolutionary” ovelovel is full of surprises — not the least being that its author is a middle-aged Brazilian “man of letters” rather than some youthful wild-eyed Maoist. It glides with amazing dash and brio from torture chamber to love affair, more with the elegant grace of a minuet than with the terror of people who almost all lose their lives in failed attempts to reach Che’s small guerrilla band in the Bolivian foothills. There’s no sense of tragedy, only the offhand, almost humorous, way in which middle-class intellectual revolutionaries are likely to die: a bank robber turning his eye from the cashier at a crucial moment because he spots a friend stuffing stolen money from under the floorboards into a grocery bag. But there is a partial condemnation of this kind of half-hearted commitment when Che stoically nears his end; also a rather joyous vision of the future as the survivors more or less accidentally hijack a plane to transcendental Cuba. The action switches from character to character and not a word is wasted in this razzledazzle masterpiece of understatement. The “historical” sections on Che’s capture and death approach grandeur without heaviness, and the clear, functional, completely artless language is admirably translated from the Portuguese by Barbara Shelby. (Source: Kirkus)

Don Juans Bar_Antonio Callado

Hardcover: 271 pages
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (1972)
Translator: Barbara Shelby
ISBN-10: 0394472128
ISBN-13: 978-0394472126
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From Another World

Original title: Do outro mundo (2002)
Author: Ana Maria Machado
Translator: Luisa Baeta

Martin and his friends are helping their parents turn an old Brazilian coffee plantation into an inn. The children have a fun time helping to renovate the old place and they sleep in a shed that is being converted into a guest room. But one night they hear the sound of a young girl crying. Gradually, the ghost of a slave girl from the late 1800s named Rosario appears to them. Rosario tells them the story of her life and in doing so reveals the danger and instability that existed in Brazil after slavery ended. Though not the best at writing, Martin promises Rosario to record her story in the form of a book. Though the experience of slavery seems remote to Martin and his friends, by the time they’ve heard Rosario’s story, the evil of slavery is made painfully clear.
Ana Maria Machado’s deft storytelling skills and social conscience come together in this powerfully moving book that explores the history and impact of slavery. (Source: publisher)

From Another World_Ana Maria Machado

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Groundwood Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (December 27, 2005)
Translator: Luisa Baeta
ISBN-10: 0888996411
ISBN-13: 978-0888996411
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Bay of All Saints & Every Conceivable Sin

Original title: Boca do inferno (1989)
Author: Ana Miranda
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero

An evocation of the seventeenth-century city of Salvador da Bahia, or ‘Bahia’, then the capital of Brazil, with its wealth based on sugar cane and the slave trade. Salvador has always been one of Brazil’s most important urban centres and the heartland of the African element in her cultural life. Ana Miranda’s book is a colourful historical novel, following the lives of certain leading players in the courtly and ecclesiastical politics of the age, focusing on actual personalities such as the reforming Jesuit Father Antonio Vieira, an important early figure in Brazilian letters and the poet Gregorio de Matos. (This is an excerpt of a review by Ray Keenly, at Babel Guide to Brazilian Fiction, Boulevard Books, 2001)


Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: The Viking Press, New York, 1991
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero
ISBN 10: 0670834556 
ISBN 13: 9780670834556
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All Saints Bay_Ana Miranda

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; First British Edition edition (19 Mar. 1992)
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero
ISBN-10: 0002711311
ISBN-13: 978-0002711319
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Saga of Brutes

Original title: A saga dos brutos (trilogy – 2009)
Author: Ana Paula Maia
Translator: Alexandra Joy Forman

This title will be released on October 28, 2016.

Saga of Brutes pulls together three fantastic stories “Between Dog Fights and Pig Slaughter,” “The Dirty Work of Others,” and “Bone Char,” published for the first time as a single volume. Ana Paula Maia’s narrative follows the invisible workingmen who carry society’s burdens like Atlas. They exist in badness and fraternity, in high heat and intense speed. In the end, these heroes of vile circumstance are the soot-covered supermen who mine the center of the Earth, put out deadly fires, break endless asphalt, collect others’ trash, and cremate bodies. But they, too, amount to nothing but carbo animalis―notwithstanding the impure relation of coal to diamonds. Without romanticizing her protagonists, Ana Paula Maia’s fictional stories transmit some of the tender qualities of Brazil’s brutish men and animals, building, like so many sand castles, a sustainable society on their sweat. (Source: publisher)

Saga of Brutes_Ana Paula Maia

Series: Brazilian Literature
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press (October 28, 2016)
Translator: Alexandra Joy Forman
ISBN-10: 1628971460
ISBN-13: 978-1628971460
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Sergio Y.

Original title: Sérgio Y. vai à América (2014)
Author: Alexandre Vidal Porto
Translator: Alex Ladd

Armando is one of the most renowned therapists in Sao Paulo. One of his patients, 17-year-old Sergio, abruptly stops his therapy after a trip to New York. Sergio’s cursory explanation is that he has found his own path to happiness and must pursue it. For years Armando wonders what may have happened to him. Years later, Armando learns Sergio is living a happy life in New York as a woman, Sandra. But not long after this discovery Armando is shocked to read about Sandra’s unexpected death. In an attempt to find out the truth, Armando starts his own investigation. (Source: publisher)

Read a review by Mario Savioni here.

Sergio Y_Alexandre Vidal Porto

Paperback: 160 pages
 Publisher: Europa Editions (12 May 2016)
 Translator: Alex Ladd
 ISBN-10: 1609453271
 ISBN-13: 978-1609453275
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Rilke Shake

Original title: Rilke Shake (2007)
Author: Angélica Freitas
Translator: Hilary Kaplan

Rilke Shake’s title, a pun on milkshake, means in Portuguese just what it does in English. With frenetic humor and linguistic innovation, Angélica Freitas constructs a temple of delight to celebrate her own literary canon. In this whirlwind debut collection, first published in Portuguese in 2007, Gertrude Stein passes gas in her bathtub, a sushi chef cries tears of Suntory Whisky, and Ezra Pound is kept “insane in a cage in pisa.” Hilary Kaplan’s translation is as contemporary and lyrical as the Portuguese-language original, a considerable feat considering the collection’s breakneck pace. (Source: publisher)

The poet and her translator are the poetry prize winners of the 2016 Best Translated Book Awards.

Rilke Shake_Angelica Freitas

Paperback: 124 pages
 Publisher: Phoneme Media (March 24, 2015)
 Translator: Hilary Kaplan
 ISBN-10: 1939419549
 ISBN-13: 978-1939419545
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The Mystery of Rio

Original title: O senhor do lado esquerdo (2011)
Author: Alberto Mussa
Translator: Alex Ladd

Rio de Janeiro, 1913. The Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic is murdered at the former home of the Marquesa de Santos, known as the House of Exchanges, a sophisticated brothel where secret meetings take place. Under the guise of a medical clinic, the brothel is run by a scientist obsessed with the study of female sexual fantasies. During the criminal investigation, a forensic expert who frequents the House comes face to face with a rogue from Cais do Porto possibly involved in the murder. The two begin a competition to figure out who is the greatest seducer. (Source: publisher)

The Mystery of Rio_Alberto Mussa

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Europa Editions (September 3, 2013)
Translator: Alex Ladd
ISBN-10: 1609451368
ISBN-13: 978-1609451363
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The Riddle of Qaf

Original title: O Enigma de Qaf (2004)
Author: Alberto Mussa
Translator: Lennie Larkin

The search for the origins of a forgotten sacred poem is at the heart of this novel about a modern Brazilian poet of Lebanese descent who travels to the Middle East to uncover the truth about what he believes may be part of a group of pre-Islamic poems. Following the model of A Thousand and One Nights, the novel is a quest through time and language that recounts many of the poet’s experiences as he travels through the deserts of Arabia in search of a beautiful woman whose beauty remains hidden until the circularity of the riddle of Qaf is solved. (Source: publisher)

The Riddle of Oaf_Alberto Mussa

Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Aflame Books (October 1, 2008)
Translator: Lennie Larkin
ISBN-10: 1906300038
ISBN-13: 978-1906300036
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Original title: O Mulato (1881)
Author: Aluísio Azevedo
Translator: Murray Graeme Macnicoll

In 1881, Brazilian Aluisio Azevedo published Mulatto, a scathing expose of his native city, Sao Luis do Maranhao. Polemic as well as love story, it brought him much notoriety and is generally considered the first Brazilian naturalist novel. Set before the abolition of slavery and the establishment of the first republic, Mulatto tells the story of Raimundo, a young Brazilian of liberal ideas. Kept in ignorance of the identity of his mother and the secret of his mixed birth, Raimundo is educated in Europe and, upon returning to Brazil, struggles against the provincial and bigoted society he encounters. Mulatto reveals its author’s opposition to both the clergy, whose corruption and influence he denounced, and the racist agrarian society still dependent upon slavery.

Mulatto_2_Aluisio de Azevedo

Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: University of Texas Press (September 1993)
Translator: Murray Graeme Macnicoll
ISBN-10: 0292704380
ISBN-13: 978-0292704381
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Mulatto_Aluisio de Azevedo

Hardcover: 298 pages
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (1994-03-01)
Translator: Murray Graeme Macnicoll
ISBN 10: 0838633803 
ISBN 13: 9780838633809 
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Ancient Tillage

Original title: Lavoura Arcaica (1975)
Author: Raduan Nassar
Translator: Karen Sotelino

‘I felt the powerful strength of my family overrunning me like a heavy rush of water’

For André, a young man growing up on a farm in Brazil, life consists of ‘the earth, the wheat, the bread, our table and our family’. He loves the land, fears his austere, pious father who preaches from the head of the table as if it is a pulpit, and loathes himself, as he starts to harbour shameful feelings for his sister Ana. Lyrical and sensual, told with biblical intensity, this classic Brazilian coming-of-age novel follows André’s psychological and sexual awakening, as he must choose between body and soul, duty and freedom. (Source: publisher)

Ancient Tillage_Raduan Nassar

Paperback: 144 pages
 Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 Jan. 2016)
 Translator: Karen Sotelino
 ISBN-10: 0141396784
 ISBN-13: 978-0141396781
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A Cup of Rage

Original title: Um Copo de Cólera (1978)
Author: Raduan Nassar
Translator: Stefan Tobler

‘Yes, bastard, you’re the one I love’

A pair of lovers – a young female journalist and an older man who owns an isolated farm in the Brazilian outback – spend the night together. The next day they proceed to destroy each other. Amid vitriolic insults, cruelty and warring egos, their sexual adventure turns into a savage power game. This intense, erotic cult novel by one of Brazil’s most infamous modernist writers explores alienation, the desire to dominate and the wish to be dominated.

Stefan Tobler’s translation has been Longlisted for The Man Booker International Prize 2016, “celebrating the finest in global fiction”. Read an article by Tobler on his relationship to the text and author here: Raduan Nassar became a Brazilian sensation with his first novel – now published in English, the world will come knocking

A Cup of Rage_Raduan Nassar

Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 Jan. 2016)
Translator: Stefan Tobler
ISBN-10: 0141396806
ISBN-13: 978-0141396804
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Baroque, the soul of Brazil

Original title: Barroco, alma do Brasil (1997)
Author: Alfonso Romano de Sant’Anna
Translator: Diane Grosklaus

The commercial sponsors of the book, Bradesco Seguros, wanted a book published that would look at the cultural foundations of Brazil with Baroque therefore a natural choice. Rather than the volume being a simple photographic and textual work, the aim was to go much more deeply into the towns and villages of Brazil for the signs of the Baroque style influencing the nation’s culture. The task of recording this evidence was entrusted to the talented and skillful pen of the Brazilian Poet Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna. It explores manifestations of the Baroque in all its diversity: in architecture, in music, in literature, in theatre, and in painting. It looks at the development of Baroque in Brazil from the perspectives of history and at its sociological implications. Visually, the book offers a sample of art works in exceptionally fine photographs, published here for the first time. Wherever Baroque has left traces down through Brazilian history, it has shown that it is not simply an art form, but the preponderant influence on the thought and behaviour of the Brazilian people. The accompanying text puts the phenomenon in its historical, cultural and sociological context and shows the spiritual evolution of the Brazilian people – how it has moulded them since the Jesuits’ ratio studiorum (Plan of Studies), the illuminated words of Father Vieira, the mulatto polyphonies of Lobo de Mesquita, and the dramatic tropicalisms of Ataides paintings – all this demonstrates the spiritual evolution on these pages in the pure poetry of Affonso Romano de Sant’ Anna and with the wonderful documentary photographic record from the lens of Pedro Oswaldo Cruz. (Source: Amazon)

Baroque, the soul of Brazil_Affonso Santana

Hardcover: 204 pages
Publisher: Comunicação Máxima (1998)
Translator: Diane Grosklaus
ISBN-10: 8586631043
ISBN-13: 978-8586631047
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Memories of Lazarus

Original title: Memórias de Lázaro (1952)
Author: Adonias Filho
Translator: Fred Ellison

These are the recollections of Alexandre – of his life, his death-in-life, and his ultimate death as they are played out against the mobile tapestry of the valley where he was born. The valley itself, in the backlands of the state of Bahia, Brazil, alternates at different stages in Alexandre’s consciousness between reality and symbol. It swings from a harsh regional specificity to become the panorama of all human life, its endless, eroding wind the devouring hostility of all environments and its pain the pain of every human being in the face of his own brutality and that of others. Throughout the novel Alexandre’s mind ranges from sharp awareness, through hallucination, to oblivion (‘a man dies while alive,’ says Jeronimo, his mentor), and back again as he experiences the violent, obtuse phenomena of life in the valley – his universe and ours. This latter-day Lazarus leaves the resisting hills and black sky once only, hounded by the valley dwellers who believe he has murdered his wife, her father, and her brother. Yet despite his awareness of the horror of the valley and his intuition of something beyond it, it is precisely his contact with the gentler existence to which he escapes that forces Alexandre to recognize his nature for what it is. Turning his back on a greater and more varied range of feeling and experience, he chooses the narrow ferocity of the valley, to which he returns to die the final death for which the earlier deaths have prepared him. This best-known novel by Adonias Filho, the Brazilian writer whose work has been compared to that of Emily Brontë and William Faulkner, was translated by Fred P. Ellison, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of Texas. (Source: publisher)

Memories of Lazarus_2_Adonias Filho

Hardback: 184 pages
Published by University of Texas Press (March 1970)
Translator: Fred Ellison
illustrator: Enrico Bianco
ISBN 10: 0292784015
ISBN 13: 9780292784017 
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Memories of Lazarus_Adonias Filho

Paperback: 186 pages (print on demand)
Publisher: University of Texas Press; New Ed edition (1 Jan. 1975)
Translator: Fred Ellison
ISBN-10: 0292750218
ISBN-13: 978-0292750210
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A Man and His Shadow

Original title: O homem e sua Sombra (20o6)
Author: Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna
Translator: Fred Ellison

A Man and His Shadow, published in Portuguese in 2006 and appearing here as a complete bilingual edition, immerses the reader in renowned Brazilian poet Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna’s enigmatic world of shadows. A master of humorous meditation, Sant’Anna offers the reader an elegant and beguiling compendium of miniature histories. As we eavesdrop on encounters between the conscious and unconscious mind, we enter a curious realm in which shadows take part in duels, fetch the daily paper, and attend orgies, while their corporeal counterparts engage in the usual impetuous acts of treachery and devotion. At once mercurial, funny and profound, the linked verse narratives in A Man and His Shadow form an irreverent collection of organized whimsy. (Source: publisher)

A Man and His Shadow_affonso Santanna

Paperback: 97 pages
 Publisher: Host Pub.; Bilingual edition (Oct. 2008)
 Translator: Fred Ellison
 ISBN-10: 0924047674
 ISBN-13: 978-0924047671
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Taxi or Poem of Love in Transit

Original title: Táxi ou Poema de amor passageiro (1986)
Author: Adriano Espínola
Translator: Charles A. Perrone

With afterwords by the translator and Elizabeth Lowe. It comes with a map of the poet’s hometown, Fortaleza, folded in four.


Hardcover: 98 pages
Publisher: Garland Publishing Inc (8 Jan. 1993)
Translator: Charles A. Perrone 
ISBN-10: 0824000382
ISBN-13: 978-0824000387
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Dirty Poem / Sullied Poem

Original title: Poema Sujo (1976)
Author: Ferreira Gullar
Translator: Leland Guyer

Dirty Poem was written in 1975 in Buenos Aires when Ferreira Gullar was in political exile from the Brazilian dictatorship. An epic work, it draws on the poet’s memories of his seaside adolescence during World War II and deals openly with the “dirty” shamefulness of a socioeconomic system that abuses its citizens with poverty, sexism, greed, and fear. The scholar Otto Maria Carpeaux wrote: “Dirty Poem deserves to be called ‘National Poem’ because it embodies all of the experiences, victories, defeats, and hopes in the life of the Brazilian citizen.”

Oh, my green city
my humid city
ever beaten by many winds
rustling your days at the entrance to the sea
my sonorous city
spheres of heavy winds

(Source: publisher)

Dirty Poem_Ferreira Gullar

Series: New Directions Poetry Pamphlets
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: New Directions; 1 edition (April 7, 2015)
Translator: Leland Guyer
ISBN-10: 0811223957
ISBN-13: 978-0811223959
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Dirty Poem_2_Ferreira Gullar

Hardcover: 205 pages
Publisher: Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, c1990.
Translator: Leland Guyer
Note: Portuguese text, parallel English translation
ISBN-10: 0819178780
ISBN 13: 9780819178787
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Sullied Poem
Hardcover: 216 Pages
Publisher: Associated Faculty Pr Inc (May 1988)
Translator: Leland Guyer
ISBN-10: 0804694079
ISBN-13: 978-0804694070
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Family Ties

Original title: Laços de Família (1960)
Author: Clarice Lispector
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero

Since the publication of her first novel in 1944, Clarice Lispector has been recognized as a Brazilian writer of great talent and originality. It is generally agreed among her critics, however that her best writing is in shorter fiction, where her personal style, with its brilliant flashes of insight, works more coherently. The stories in Family Ties, originally published in 1960, are among her most important contribution to Brazilian fiction, They show her preoccupation with human suffering and failure, and critics have detected in them, as in all of her work, echoes of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and the French existentialist writers Camus and Sartre. But if her stories are concerned with the metaphysical anguish that results from the sudden recognition of the human condition, which Camus called Absurdity, the reader will find that anguish treated in an original way that reveals the complexity of the experience. The characters created by Clarice Lispector cannot be described as ‘types’, even in a psychological context. They are more appropriately seen as images of different states of mind, and this applies also to her settings, the gardens and parks in ‘Love’ and ‘The Buffalo’, the urban scenes in ‘Preciousness’ and ‘The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman’, and the jungle setting of ‘The smallest Woman in the World’; all exist outside of time and space. Lispector is a writer who is not interested primarily in the individuals and their individual contexts but in the passions that dominate and usually defeat them. Like Sartre and Camus, she subscribes to the acts that acts alone are important – and isolation and violence become the two salient features of human experience. (Source: publisher)

Family Ties_2_Clarice Lispector

Hardcover: 156 pages
Publisher: Univ of Texas Press (1972)
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero
ISBN-10: 0292724047 
ISBN-13: 978-0292724044
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Family Ties_1_Clarice Lispector

Series: Texas Pan American Series
Paperback: 156 pages
Publisher: University of Texas Press (January 1, 1984)
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero
ISBN-10: 0292724489
ISBN-13: 978-0292724488
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Family Ties_4_Clarice Lispector
(Please note: I am not sure this is the right cover for this edition!)

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, 1985
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero
ISBN 10: 0856355704 
ISBN 13: 9780856355707
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Family Ties_4_Clarice Lispector

Hardcover: 140 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press (January 1, 1985)
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero
SBN 10: 0856355690 
ISBN 13: 9780856355691 
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Original titles: A Via Crucis do Corpo (1974) and Onde estivestes de noite (1974)
Author: Clarice Lispector
Translator: Alexis Levitin

Soulstorm‘ contains twenty-nine stories from two short story collections, originally published in two separate volumes: A Via Crucis do Corpo and Onde estivestes de noite. Lispector’s characters live small stifled lives, often unware of their own suffering, but her lucid and richly textured narratives allow us, the readers, the epiphanies that they themselves are denied. Alexis Levitan’s translations of Clarice Lispector’s stories won the 1984 Van de Bovencamp-Armand G. Erpf International Award, given by the Translation Center, Columbia University.

Soulstorm_Clarice Lispector

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: New Directions (13 Sept. 1989)
Translator: Alexis Levitin
ISBN-10: 081121091X
ISBN-13: 978-0811210911
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