Gringa Reads

About Gringa Reads

Who is the Gringa?

I'm Zoë Perry, and I'm a literary translator and from Portuguese to English. In 2015 I was translator-in-residence at the FLIP literary festival in Paraty, Brazil, and I was awarded a PEN/Heim grant for my translation of Veronica Stigger's award-winning novel Opisanie swiata (available for publication). Another section of my translation is available to read here.

I co-translated All Dogs are Blue by Brazilian poet and novelist Rodrigo de Souza Leão, published by And Other Stories in 2013. Other publications include an excerpt from Carol Bensimon's The Smoke Gardener's Club, a short story by Carlos Henrique Schroder in Words Without Borders, an essay by Mia Couto on Granta, a short story by João Ximenes Braga in The Book of Rio from Comma Press, Elza: The Girl by Sérgio Rodrigues, and Adultery and The Spy by Paulo Coelho. You can find out more about my translation work at my website.

I am also a proud co-founder of the London-based literary translators' collective, The Starling Bureau, which launched at the 2017 London Book Fair. Working across seven languages, we aim to bring the world's best books to the English-language publishing world.

What does the Gringa Read?

I'm up for any book in Portuguese, but I have a soft spot for contemporary Brazilian literary fiction. My tastes lean toward the offbeat and unusual, and I am drawn to writing that explores urban landscapes, the concept of identity, and the stories of the many immigrant and diaspora communities in Brazil and other Lusophone countries. Current favorites out of Brazil include Lourenço Mutarelli, Veronica Stigger, Carol Bensimon, Luis Krausz, Noemi Jaffe, Oscar Nakasato, Vanessa Barbara, Tércia Montenegro, Ferréz, Ana Paula Maia, and Alexandre Vidal Porto.

What is Gringa Reads?

I use this space to talk about untranslated books by Brazilian and other Portuguese-speaking authors, with lists, reviews, synopses, news, author information, and occasionally a short sample translation.

Why Gringa Reads?

Gringa Reads is firstly a personal project. Updates will not necessarily be frequent: once or twice a month to go over a recent book, and an occasional post about any events or news that specifically relate to Portuguese-language literature in translation.

I'm interested in getting the word out about great books from Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, and other Lusophone countries that don't often get their due in the US and UK publishing world. There might be some not so great ones along the way, but you won't hear much about them from me, as I try my best to promote the good stuff. There are a LOT of great books out there from all these countries, struggling to reach a wider audience. I'll try to do my part to share some books that I think should be, need to be translated.

If other readers, writers, literary agents, publishers, or translators out there who are also passionate about getting more Portuguese-language literature in translation want to join in, have a suggestion, or just get in touch, drop me a line here.