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Benedita Da Silva: An Afro-Brazilian Woman's Story of Politics and Love

Benedita Da Silva: An Afro-Brazilian
Woman's Story Of Politics And Love

by Benedita Da Silva

It is a tempting to describe Benedita da Silva using labels: you may know that she was the first black woman in the Brazilian Senate or that, in spite of her national prominence, she still lives in the poor neighbourhood where she grew up. An autobiography offers the chance to learn more about her life than these obvious labels allow. This short and highly readable book does indeed fill in some of the blanks for readers outside Brazil, who will find out more about, say, what it actually means to live in a favela (or slum). It is impossible, naturally, for Benedita to describe her life without considering how those slums came to be, and what should now be done to help the people who live there. Likewise, we may have heard that Brazil is a colourblind society, whereas Benedita's experiences, as a black person, lead her to see things differently. In this and other aspects of her life-as a woman, say, or as a rare combination of evangelical Christian and leftist politician-Benedita's memoirs naturally take us away from her particular circumstances and into areas of policy.--an Amazon reviewer

Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown (Public Anthropology, 9)

Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class,
Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown
by Donna Goldstein

Donna M. Goldstein challenges much of what we think we know about the "culture of poverty." Drawing on more than a decade of experience in Brazil, Goldstein provides an intimate portrait of everyday life among the women of the favelas, or urban shantytowns. These women have created absurdist and black-humor storytelling practices in the face of trauma and tragedy. Goldstein helps us to understand that such joking and laughter is part of an emotional aesthetic that defines the sense of frustration and anomie endemic to the political and economic desperation of the shantytown. --book description

The Life and Death of Carolina Maria De Jesus (Dialogos (Albuquerque, New Mexico).)

The Life and Death of Carolina Maria De Jesus
by Robert M. Levine
& Jose Carlos Sebe Bom Meihy

In the dozen years Carolina Maria De Jesus (1914-1977) lived in a Sao Paulo, Brazil, shanty slum, she survived by rummaging for junk. She also kept a diary of her abject poverty. Black, illegitimate, and poor, she suddenly became at age forty-six Brazil's best-selling author when a book drawn from her diaries appeared in 1960. An English translation, "Child of the Dark," was published in 1962 and sold over 300,000 copies in the United States in a decade. "Newsweek" heralded her book as "a desperate, terrifying outcry from the slums of Sao Paulo. . . one of the most astonishing documents of the lower depts ever printed." Collaborating with a Brazilian colleague, Levine tells the story of Carolina's life, giving particular emphasis to the years following her publishing success, and engages in a provocative debate over what Carolina's life reveals about such issues as racism in Brazil, the rigidity of that country's class system, and the process of constructing an identity amid constant degradation and proverty. --book description

Child Of The Dark: The Diary Of Carolina Maria De Jesus

Child Of The Dark: The Diary Of Carolina Maria De Jesus
by Carolina Maria de Jesus

I'm Going to Have a Little House: The Second Diary of Carolina Maria De Jesus (Engendering Latin America Series)

I'm Going To Have A Little House:
The Second Diary Of Carolina Maria De Jesus

by Carolina Maria De Jesus

Bitita's Diary: The Childhood Memoirs of Carolina Maria De Jesus (Latin American Realities)

Bitita's Diary: The Childhood
Memoirs Of Carolina Maria De Jesus

by Carolina Maria De Jesus

An immediate best seller when it was published in Brazil in 1960, Jesus's Quarto de Despejo, the diary of a woman living in the slums of Sao Paulo, contained unusually vivid descriptions of the lives of the very poor. Its English translation, Child of the Dark (1962), was equally successful, as were translations in several other languages. The success of the book allowed Jesus to move out of the slums and continue writing. Through the efforts of her biographer, Robert M. Levine of the University of Miami (The Life and Death of Carolina Maria de Jesus, Univ. of New Mexico, 1995), some of these writings are finally being translated into English. Bitita's Diary (Jornal de Bitita), the last volume Jesus finished prior to her death in 1977, is a poignant description of her childhood in the Brazilian central interior state of Minas Gerais. It is important for providing a look at Brazil during the 1920s and 1930s through the eyes of an impoverished black child, a view rare in any country at any time. Sometimes simplistic, sometimes profound, this is a valuable volume for any Latin American research collection.--Library Journal

Brazilian Women Speak: Contemporary Life Stories

Brazilian Women Speak: Contemporary Life Stories
by Daphne Patai

Patai, professor of women's studies and of Portuguese at the University of Massachusetts, interviewed Brazilian women in 1981 when that country's military dictatorship was in power. Here she gathers 20 diverse subjects ranging from Teresa, a black, 44-year-old laundress who says her job "takes a lot out of you" but "is easier than working in the fields," and in a few words conveys much of her life's struggles, to Marta, a well-educated middle-class white who devotes abundant energy to complaining about her relationship with the maid. Having chosen a "speaker-centered approach," Patai preserves the rhythm of each interviewee's voice, thus demonstrating the poetic qualities of these oral histories. Though of varied backgrounds, many of the women express similar concerns: the challenge of making their way in a patriarchal society; surviving a period of intense inflation and unemployment; raising children; obtaining adequate medical care. The introduction is thoughtful and exciting, exploring the implications of interviewing and storytelling, and alerting the reader to the beauty, the creative act, of speech. --Publishers Weekly

Caetana Says No: Women's Stories from a Brazilian Slave Society (New Approaches to the Americas)

Caetana Says No
by Sandra Lauderdale Graham

Engendering Democracy in Brazil

Engendering Democracy In Brazil:
Women's Movements In Transition Politics

by Sonia Alvarez

First World Third Class and Other Tales of the Global Mix (Texas Pan American Literature in Translation)

First World Third Class And Other Tales Of The Global Mix
by Regina Rheda

Regina Rheda is a contemporary award-winning Brazilian writer whose original voice and style have won her many admirers. First World Third Class and Other Tales of the Global Mix presents some of her finest and most representative work to an English-speaking readership. Stories from the Copan Building consists of eight tales set in a famous residential building in São Paulo. The stories, like the apartment complex, are a microcosm of modern-day urban Brazil. They are witty, consistently caustic, and never predictable. Also in this volume is the poignant and often hilarious novella First World Third Class. It depicts young middle-class professionals and artists who, as opportunities in Brazil diminished, opted to leave their country, even if it meant taking menial jobs abroad. At the center of the narrative is Rita, a thirty-year-old aspiring filmmaker who migrates to England, and then Italy. She looks for work and love in all the wrong places, moving from city to city and from bed to bed. The last three stories in this collection also happen to be among the author's most recent. "The Enchanted Princess" is an ironic title for a postfeminist tale of a South American woman being wooed to marry an old-world gentleman who promises to take care of her every need. "The Sanctuary" concerns the living conditions of immigrant workers and farm animals. Equally piquant in nature, "The Front" deals with ecology, labor environments, and gender politics. --book description

Fourteen Female Voices from Brazil: Interviews and Works

Fourteen Female Voices From Brazil
edited by Elzbieta Szoka

A fascinating introduction to Brazilian culture with poetry, fiction, drama and interviews by a group of Brazil's most gifted writers. Writers included are: Nelida Pinon, Astrid Cabral, Jandira Martini, Marly de Oliveira, Leilah Assumpcao, Lygia Fagundes Telles, Helena Parente Cunha, Maria Adelaide Amaral, Conceicao Evaristo, Esmeralda Ribeiro, Myriam Campello, Renata Pallottini, Sonia Coutinho and Miriam Alves. In interviews each author talks about the role of women In Brazil, mysticism, globalization, politics, travel and the nature of writing.

In Defense of Honor: Sexual Morality, Modernity, and Nation in Early Twentieth-Century Brazil

In Defense Of Honor: Sexual
Morality, Modernity And Nation
In Early Twentieth Century Brazil

by Sueann Caulfield

Xuxa: The Mega-Marketing of Gender, Race, and Modernity

Xuxa: The Mega-Marketing Of
Gender, Race, And Modernity (hardcover)

by Amelia Simpson

Former Playboy centerfold and soft-porn movie actress Xuxa (SHOO-sha) emerged in the 1980s as Brazil's mass media megastar. Through her children's television show, which reaches millions of people in Latin America and the United States, this blond sex symbol has attained extraordinary cultural authority. Reaching far beyond younger audiences, Xuxa's show informs the culture at large about gender relations, racial democracy, and idealized beauty. Backed by Brazil's TV Globo, the fourth-largest commercial network in the world, Xuxa has built an empire. Amelia Simoson's colorful portrayal is the first book to explore how Xuxa's representation of femininity, her privileging of a white ideal of beauty, and her promotional approach to culture perpetuate inequality on an unprecedented scale. Simpson's thoughtful analysis exposes the complicity of a mass audience eager to celebrate Xuxa's deeply compromised representations of gender, race, and modernity. --book description

Also See:

Sex & Danger in Buenos Aires
by Donna J. Guy

Eva Peron
by Julie Taylor

The Women of Colonial Latin America
(New Approaches to the Americas)

by Susan Migden Socolow

Revolutionizing Motherhood
by Marguerite Guzman Bouvard

Biographies      Love & Sexuality     History Of Brazil
Politics Of Brazil     Racial Issues    Religion In Brazil
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