Jorge Amado: 1912-2001: Brazilian Novelist Biography
Early Works Were Political, Discovered True Subversion Comes Through Laughter
"The hero of my novels is the Brazilian people," said novelist Jorge Amado in an interview quoted in the Los Angeles Times. Amado's 32 novels honored the lives of ordinary Brazilians, especially those in Amado's home state of Bahia, with sweeping historical novels and, later in his life, with humorous, lusty romantic tales that found popular success at home as well as a growing international reader-ship. Amado was sometimes known in Brazil as the Pele of the written word—high praise in a country where soccer is much more than a national pastime.
Born on August 10, 1912, near Ilhéus, in southern Bahia, Amado grew up in comfortable circumstances on a cocoa plantation, but witnessed something of the violent events that shaped the modern nation of Brazil. His lifelong sympathy for Brazil's working people grew out of his experiences harvesting cocoa beans side by side with them as a youngster. In his childhood he saw land wars, akin to those of the U.S. West, and during one clash his father survived an assassination attempt. Amado's family was devastated by a massive flood that swallowed up their farm, and after a subsequent smallpox epidemic his parents were forced to begin making shoes for a living.
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- Jorge Amado: 1912-2001: Brazilian Novelist - Early Works Were Political
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