Gringa Reads

Mid-Year News Round-up

NewsZoe PerryComment

If you pay any attention to Brazil at all, it might feel like there's been a steady stream of bad news coming out of the country for awhile now, from Rio's general lack of preparedness for the upcoming Olympic Games, to the economic crisis, impeachment scandals, interim governments, corruption scandals, sexual assaults, environmental catastrophes, and everything in between. The Brazilian literary world is not immune to the bad news, either. Recently, two senior staff members at the Brazilian National Library Foundation (FBN) were let go, including the person in charge of the department that runs their translation support programs. In true Brazilian style, however, whenever I think I hear the death rattle of those all-important programs, I'll get an email reminding me they're still kicking. Recently the FBN announced applications are being accepted for their 2016 residency programs, a great way for translators with a publication contract for a Brazilian work to spend some time in Brazil working on their projects. And their ongoing call for funding applications for translations is STILL open. I cannot guarantee the process will be efficient or headache-free, but my advice to publishers: grab the money while you can! 


August is Women in Translation month, and I've been doing some number-crunching and reviewing and list-making around here, so stay tuned for a few exciting posts to commemorate the occasion. In the meantime, here are some Brazilian lit-related news and links to peruse, particularly if you're sick of reading about the impending doom of the Rio Olympics:

If you haven't heard of it, go check out Glossolalia, PEN America's new print magazine (previously known as Passages): 

Glossolalia advocates for writers with limited access to the global reading community. By publishing works from lesser-translated languages, we connect storytellers to audiences eager for a vivid, mind-expanding look at experience unlike their own. 

Their new issue, Women Writing Brazil, is timed perfectly for Women in Translation month. Packed with poetry, fiction, and non-fiction writing from some of Brazil's best women writers, including Brazil's Nobel nominee, Lygia Fagundes Telles, in addition to a lot of as-yet unknowns to English readers, the issue is available to order on their website (print only). There's some really good stuff in there and this is a great project to support. 

All eyes are on Rio de Janeiro, but if you happened to miss it, July's issue of Words Without Borders was all about Brazil Beyond Rio. Featuring fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by Brazilian writers representing diverse backgrounds and landscapes, as well as perspectives on Brazil from writers from abroad.

I strongly suggest you check out Alison Entrekin's marvelous sample from João Guimarães Rosa's masterpiece, Grande Sertão: Veredas. My translation of The Time Left is in there, a short story by Carlos Henrique Schroeder, whose novel As Fantasias Coletivas I reviewed here.

Also just up over at Words Without Borders, in their Dispatches section, is a brilliant write-up of FLIP 2016 by Eric M.B. Becker. I was bummed I couldn't make it to Paraty this year, but Eric covers all the highlights.