Beyond Literary Landscapes—Brazil

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and outlining various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and can serve as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.


This column serves as an introduction to the works of Brazilian novelists, educators, and scholars, a reminder of some of the country’s classics, and as an inspiration for further reading.

Well-known Brazilian novelists include Jorge Amado and Paulo Coelho, while Paulo Freire is a great example of a famous scholars and educator involved with Brazilian literature.

In particular, Amado was a Brazilian “novelist whose stories of life in the eastern Brazilian state of Bahia won international acclaim,” while Coelho is a “Brazilian novelist known for employing rich symbolism in his depictions of the often spiritually motivated journeys taken by his characters.”

In terms of non-fiction, learners may be interested in the works of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, the former director of the Brazilian National Literacy Program, who developed an interactive method of education, as well as helping found Brazil’s Workers Party.  Freire “sought to empower the world’s oppressed through literacy programs that encouraged social and political awareness.”


Some of Amado’s well-known works include Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, while Coelho’s popular works include The Alchemist and The Valkyries.  Other options include Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept and The Winner Stands Alone.  In addition, students can also consider Freire’s The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Although written in Portuguese, these texts are available in a variety of translations.

Students interested in authors with similar subject matter and themes may research the works of Colombian author and journalist Gabriel García Márquez, noted for novels, such as 100 Years of Solitude, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Love in the Time of Cholera, as well as Brazilian author Clarice Lispector, known for novels, such as The Hour of the Star.


Many of these works are set throughout Brazil, including Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and Pernambuco states.


These works often take place in the late 20-century.


Readers who are interested in magic realism, spirituality, education, poverty, oppression, and love, may be interested in these Brazilian works.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to the works of Brazil are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with an AU counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this topic may enroll in ENGL 492: Research and Writing Projects in Literature, a senior-level, three-credit course, in which they “may wish to focus on a particular literary theme, idea, or theoretical problem.”  (Students are required to contact the course coordinator prior to registering to discuss topic ideas.)

Another option is ENGL 458: The Latin American Novel, a senior-level, three-credit course, which focuses “on fiction and memoir written in the context of history, politics, culture, identity, and genre,” and covers the works of abovementioned Brazilian author Clarice Lispector.  Happy reading!