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Amado, Jorge

WIL NORTON

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Extract

The Mozambican author Mia Couto said of Jorge Amado that he “didn't write books, he wrote a country.” Amado (1912–2001), Brazil's most popular and successful modernist novelist, employed the novel form to tell tales of the northeastern state of Bahia that have shaped the international image of Brazil. Writing during a turbulent time in Brazil's history, Amado was committed to engaging in social change for the proletariat of his country. His novels depict an exuberant image of Bahia, his home state, telling ironically humorous stories of the upper and lower classes, praising racial pluralism and admiring Afro-Brazilian religious syncretism, and caricaturizing governmental hypocrisy, unfolding in his narrative the contradictions and incongruities of Brazilian social life. Amado was born on August 10, 1912 on a cacao fazenda in southern Bahia. His early life was marked by trauma: he was walking with his father along the plantation road when an assassin shot and wounded his father. Amado attended a Jesuit boarding school in Salvador, Bahia from 1922 to 1925, and he published his first novel, O país do carnaval (1931), at age 18, having written it during the rise of the populist leader Getúlio Vargas. Scholars tend to agree that Amado's earliest novels – including Cacao (1933), Suor (1934), Jubiabá (1935), Mar morto (1936), and Capitães da areia (1937) – overly adhere to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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