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Brazilian Literature in Translation: Padma Viswanathan with Miguel Conde

July 30, 2020 via Crowdcast

Writer and translator Padma Viswanathan discusse her translation from the Portuguese of Graciliano Ramos’s São Bernardo, with literary critic Miguel Conde. Presented in collaboration with New York Review Books and Words Without Borders.

Paulo Honório, the protagonist of São Bernardo, is a ruthless and demanding owner of a large estate—where as a young man he worked as a field hand—in the backlands of Brazil. After returning the farm to prosperity, and marrying a beautiful and educated wife, Honório decides to write his memoirs, but what comes out is far from what he anticipated.

Graciliano Ramos is one of Brazil’s greatest writers. Rural life—its language and rhythms, its isolation and society—is at the heart of his work, expertly and inventively brought into English by Padma Viswanathan’s translation of one of his most cherished novels.