To honor the 50th anniversary of its capital city, books that deliver the sounds and stories of Brazil.



The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Edited by Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti


The everyday lives of Brazilians—from sexuality to architecture and everything in between—and the rich, multicultural history of South America's largest and most diverse country are revealed in this collection of letters, photographs, interviews, legal documents, visual art, music, poetry, fiction, reminiscences, and scholarship.




Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon

By Jorge Amado


Brazil's answer to Charles Dickens, Amado keeps mutliple plots on the boil (a migrant worker serves as a change agent; a colonel is so very unhappy to find his wife in bed with another man) in this grand novel set in the compact, yet complex society of a small Brazilian town.





Epitaph of a Small Winner

By Machado de Assis


Assis brilliantly imagines the memoirs of a wealthy, nineteenth-century unremarkable Brazilian written after his supposed death. Published in 1881 and made up of 160 short chapters, Assis uses surrealism and satire to pointedly skewer the follies of a Brazilian society still emerging from the burdens of the colonial era.




Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil

By Caetano Veloso


Singer/songwriter Veloso has been a cultural force in Brazil for more than 35 years and is a founder of tropicalismo, the post-bossa nova sound that raged in the '60s. The personal history of this internationally renowned musician is stuffed with political and literary inspirations and references that create a beautiful mosaic of Brazilian society.




The Oxford Anthology of the Brazilian Short Story 

Edited by K. David Jackson


Jackson, a professor of Portuguese at Yale University, gathers together the best Brazilian short fiction from the late nineteenth century to the present. The collection shows off the modern Brazil as seen through the eyes of J. M. Machado de Assis, Clarice Lispector, Joao Guimaraes Rosa, and 34 others.


April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.