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2022.06.17 六本关于巴西的书籍

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Economist Reads | Brazil
Our correspondent in São Paulo recommends six books about Brazil
A set of guides to take you beyond the football and the favelas
A view from Santa Teresa in the hills of Rio de Janeiro as The iconic Cristo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer statue sits atop the mountain Corcovado. In the foreground is the Favela Morro da Coroa. Many favela's scatter the hillsides around Rio while The iconic statue of Christ can be seen for miles around the city. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 20th September 2010. Photo Tim Clayton.. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jun 17th 2022 (Updated Jun 28th 2022)


This article is part of our Summer reads series. Visit our collection to discover “The Economist reads” guides, guest essays and more seasonal distractions.

Tom jobim, a singer, once quipped that Brazil is not for beginners. It is larger than the contiguous United States and its population is more racially diverse. The country with the largest share of the Amazon rainforest is also home to a flooded desert and Swiss-style mountain resorts. There is far more to Brazil than the clichés that capture the common imagination—whether football or favelas. When presidential elections take place in October 2022, the world will become reacquainted with the polarisation of Brazil’s politics and the stubborn inequalities of its society. The following list of books introduces some of the characters who populate the sprawling, multi-faceted place. All are available in English.

Beef, Bible and Bullets: Brazil in the Age of Bolsonaro. By Richard Lapper. Manchester University Press; 272 pages; $29.95 and £11.99

“Beef, Bible and Bullets” is a good place for those not so familiar with Brazil to start out, particularly in order to understand how Jair Bolsonaro, right-wing populist, got elected president in 2018. Richard Lapper combines insights from his years spent in the country as a foreign correspondent with rich reporting to show how the support of agribusiness, the evangelical church and the security forces all bolstered Mr Bolsonaro—as did the corruption and ineptitude of Brazil’s established parties.

The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas. By Machado de Assis. Translated by Flora Thomson-DeVeaux. Penguin Classics; 324 pages; $17 and £14.99

The most recent English edition of an absolute classic of Brazilian literature sold out in just one day in the United States. Originally published in 1881, it tells the story of a “deceased author”, as Brás Cubas calls himself, a man from the elite of Rio de Janeiro. Brás Cubas owns a slave, but says he is not racist. He preaches about sexual morality, but seeks out the paid company of prostitutes. Such hypocrisies remain discernible in Brazilian society today, in its obfuscating approaches towards race and sex.

More Summer reads
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• What’s at stake in Ukraine is the direction of human history, writes Yuval Noah Harari

Brazillionaires. By Alex Cuadros. Spiegel & Grau; 368 pages; $28. Profile; £10.99

As our full review of the book notes, “Brazillionaires” opens like a thriller movie. The son of a billionaire is driving his slr McLaren along the same road as a cyclist, when a collision between the two leaves the latter’s body scattered across the highway. It is only the beginning of the drama. Alex Cuadros’s book is a vibrant telling of Brazil’s wealthiest people and of the country itself. Billionaires became wealthy by siphoning off public funds meant for roads and schools, but are still voted into office because, in a well-known phrase, they “rob but get things done” (rouba, mas faz). Their wealth hints at both the enormous potential of Brazil—its entrepreneurship and resources—but also its immense inequality and injustice.

The Life and Death of a Minke Whale in the Amazon. By Fábio Zuker. translated by Ezra Fitz. Milkweed Editions; 240 pages; $18

The centrepiece of this collection of 12 stories by Fábio Zuker, a journalist, is the telling of a real event: when a six-tonne minke whale became stranded in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. But this book is really about the people who live there, and how they are responding to a rapidly changing environment—from deforestation to flooding, from the covid-19 pandemic to the incursions of illegal gold miners. Indigenous groups use gps technology to mark the boundaries of their territory. Others’ responses are smaller: buying mineral water to avoid polluted drinking water.

The Sun on My Head. By Geovani Martins. Translated by Julia Sanches. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 128 pages; $9.99. Faber & Faber; £10.99

“The Sun on My Head” is a snapshot of life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. In his first book, Geovani Martins, a writer and favela resident, shares stories of drugs and corrupt police, but also of a butterfly accidentally coated in cooking oil. It took translator Julia Sanches 36 drafts to translate Mr Martins’s prose into English. Somehow the translator had to preserve the argot of Rio (New York slang would not do) and make sure not to lose the flow of the sound of the street.

The Unedited Diaries of Carolina Maria de Jesus. By Carolina Maria de Jesus. Rutgers University Press; 224 pages; $31.95 and £23

Carolina Maria de Jesus, a woman who attended school for only two years, is the author of this diary that sold over 1m copies worldwide after its publication in 1998. Between 1958 and 1966, this resident of a favela in São Paulo wrote about her daily life as a mother and waste-picker, as well as her thoughts on social inequalities, blackness, and Brazil. The book still inspires favela-born Brazilian artists—from rappers to participants in poetry slams—who have experienced a surge in popularity in the past decade.

Do you have your own recommendations? Send them to with the subject line “Brazil” and your name, city and country. We will publish a selection of readers’ suggestions.

经济学家》读后感 | 巴西
从里约热内卢山区的圣特雷莎眺望,标志性的基督救世主(Cristo Redentor)雕像坐落在科尔科瓦多山顶上。前景是Favela Morro da Coroa。许多贫民窟散布在里约周围的山坡上,而基督的标志性雕像在城市周围数英里内都可以看到。巴西,里约热内卢。2010年9月20日。(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
2022年6月17日 (2022年6月28日更新)

这篇文章是我们夏季读物系列的一部分。请访问我们的收藏,以发现 "经济学人读物 "指南、特邀文章和更多季节性的分心。

歌手汤姆-乔吉姆(Tom jobim)曾打趣说,巴西不适合初学者。它比毗连的美国还要大,其人口也更加种族多样化。这个拥有最大份额的亚马逊雨林的国家也是洪水沙漠和瑞士式山地度假胜地的所在地。巴西的魅力远远超过那些吸引普通人想象的陈词滥调--无论是足球还是贫民窟。当2022年10月举行总统选举时,世界将重新认识巴西政治的两极化和其社会顽固的不平等现象。下面的书单介绍了一些充斥着这个庞大的、多面性的地方的人物。所有书都有英文版本。


对于那些不太熟悉巴西的人来说,"牛肉、圣经和子弹 "是一个很好的开始,尤其是为了了解右翼民粹主义者Jair Bolsonaro是如何在2018年当选总统的。理查德-拉珀将他多年来在该国担任驻外记者的见解与丰富的报道相结合,展示了农业综合企业、福音派教会和安全部队的支持是如何支持博尔索纳罗先生的--正如巴西既定政党的腐败和无能一样。

Brás Cubas的遗作。作者:Machado de Assis。由弗洛拉-汤姆森-德沃克斯翻译。企鹅经典;324页;17美元和14.99英镑

这部巴西文学的绝对经典之作的最新英文版在美国仅一天就售罄。该书最初出版于1881年,讲述了一个 "已故作家 "的故事,Brás Cubas自称来自里约热内卢的精英阶层。Brás Cubas拥有一个奴隶,但他说自己不是种族主义者。他宣扬性道德,却寻找妓女的有偿陪伴。在今天的巴西社会中,这种虚伪性仍然可以看出,它对种族和性的态度是模糊不清的。

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巴西亿万富翁。作者:Alex Cuadros。Spiegel & Grau;368页;28美元,简介;10.99英镑

正如我们对该书的完整评论所指出的,《亿万富翁》的开篇就像一部惊悚电影。一位亿万富翁的儿子驾驶着他的迈凯轮轿车,与一位骑自行车的人在同一条路上行驶,两人之间的碰撞使后者的尸体散落在公路上。这只是戏剧的开始。亚历克斯-夸德罗斯的书生动地讲述了巴西最富有的人和这个国家本身的情况。亿万富翁通过抽走用于道路和学校的公共资金而变得富有,但他们仍然被选为官员,因为用一句著名的话来说,他们 "抢劫但能完成任务"(ruba, mas faz)。他们的财富既暗示了巴西的巨大潜力--其企业家精神和资源,也暗示了其巨大的不平等和不公正。

亚马逊的小鲸鱼的生与死。作者:Fábio Zuker。翻译:Ezra Fitz。Milkweed Editions;240页;18美元


我头上的太阳。作者:Geovani Martins。翻译:朱莉娅-桑切斯。Farrar, Straus and Giroux;128页;9.99美元。Faber & Faber;10.99英镑

"我头上的太阳》是里约热内卢贫民区生活的一个缩影。在他的第一本书中,作家兼贫民区居民Geovani Martins分享了关于毒品和腐败警察的故事,但也分享了一只意外涂上食用油的蝴蝶。翻译家朱莉娅-桑切斯花了36稿才将马丁斯先生的散文翻译成英文。不知何故,译者必须保留里约的方言(纽约的俚语是不行的),并确保不失去街道的流动声音。



你有自己的推荐书目吗?请将它们发送到,并注明 "巴西 "和你的姓名、城市和国家。我们将公布读者建议的精选。
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