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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