By Edward Nawotka
When visiting Brazil (read more about Brazilian publishing) it became clear that any mention of Paulo Coelho among book lovers was likely to elicit little more than an eye roll. Brazilians, it seems, have little patience with the fact that Coelho is, for many around the world, the one writer that immediately jumps to mind when one thinks of Brazilian literature. A handful of other Brazilian authors have trickled into the consciousness of book lovers—Machado de Assis, Jorge Amado, Clarice Lispector—but, Brazilian book lovers are quick to point out, they are hardly reflective of the reality of Brazil as it is today.
In 2009, one of the bestselling authors in the country has been Chico Buarque, whose latest novel, Leite Derramado, has sold some 50,000 copies so far in Brazil. Buarque has already had a number of his novels translated, but he’s also a famous musician.
Another bestseller, Laurentino Gomes’ 1808 has sold more than one million copies. But the book, which offers a definitive account the pivotal moment in the nation’s history when the Portuguese royal family fled to Rio de Janeiro, may be too regional to attract the interest of an English-language publisher—or is it? And, naturally, there are numerous award-winners waiting to be discovered by audiences outside Brazil…
So, the question is: What Brazilian authors or books do you want translated into English? Brazilians translate some 4,000 books per year into Portuguese—60% of them from English—so the least we could do is return the favor.
Let us know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter using the hashtag #ppbonus.