Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho is best known for his iconic novel The Alchemist, which has been translated into about 70 languages. He was once sent to a mental institution by his parents for not following the usual career path. He dropped out of law school and became a hippie later.
Clarice Lispector was a Ukrainian-born Brazilian short story writer and novelist. As a young woman, she entered the Law School of the University of Brazil and began her writing career while studying. She soon gained fame as a writer and won the prestigious Graça Aranha Prize for the best debut novel. She died of cancer at a relatively young age.
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis was a Brazilian novelist, playwright, poet, and short-story writer. Hailing from a family of freed slaves, he had a difficult childhood that he overcame to become a famous writer. He founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters and became the organization’s first president. He is credited with having shaped the realism movement in Brazil.
Jorge Amado was a Brazilian writer affiliated with the modernist school. He is regarded as one of the best modern Brazilian writers, and his works have been translated into around 49 languages. He was the 23rd chairperson of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, holding this post from 1961 until he died in 2001.
Monteiro Lobato was a Brazilian writer best known for his children’s books. He authored a set of educational but entertaining children's books and this brought him much fame. He also wrote numerous novels and short tales for adult readers, but these weren’t as popular as his children’s books. He founded the publishing house Companhia Editora Nacional.
One of the pioneers of the Brazilian modernist movement, Mário de Andrade introduced a signature prose style that mirrored colloquial Brazilian language. Apart from writing poems and novels, he influenced ethnomusicology. He was a skilled photographer, too. Hallucinated City remains one of his most celebrated works.
João Guimarães Rosa was a Brazilian novelist and short story writer. His only novel, Grande Sertão: Veredas, is considered a revolutionary piece of literature. It is said to be the Brazilian equivalent of James Joyce's Ulysses. He later began a diplomatic career as well. Sadly, he passed away at the peak of his highly successful literary and diplomatic career.
Oswald de Andrade was a Brazilian poet and novelist. He was also a cultural critic. He was born into a wealthy family and used his wealth to support modernist artists. He is considered one of the founders of Brazilian modernism. He was a member of the Group of Five, consisting of influential painters and writers.
Brazilian author Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto was one of the greatest figures of pre-modernism and also a talented journalist. Best known for his iconic novel Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma, he was a master of satire. He later suffered from serious bouts of mental illness.
Graciliano Ramos was a Brazilian politician, modernist writer, and journalist. He is best remembered for his depiction of the problematic situation of the poor occupants of the Brazilian northeast in his novel, Vidas secas. Some of his works, such as Vidas Secas, São Bernardo, and Memórias do Cárcere, have been adapted into films.
Initially a police officer on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Rubem Fonseca later focused on writing short stories and novels. Known for his hardcore crime fiction, he showcased extreme violence and sex in his works, which led the Brazilian government to ban some of his works.
Moacyr Scliar was a Brazilian physician and writer best remembered for his 1981 book Max and the Cats. A prolific writer, Scliar published more than 100 books in Portuguese and his fiction has been translated into many languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, and Italian. Moacyr Scliar was inducted into the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2003.
Rachel de Queiroz was a Brazilian writer, journalist, and translator. She achieved national prominence in 1930 with the release of her debut novel O Quinze, which was adapted into a movie in 2004. Rachel became the first female writer to be elected as a member of the Academia Brasileira de Letras in 1977. In 1993, she received the Camões Prize.
Though Brazilian author Aluízio Azevedo had initially started as a romantic author, he later became one of the greatest figures of the Naturalist movement. Known for his iconic works such as A Brazilian Tenement, he later quit his literary career and became a consul in Argentina.
Erico Verissimo was a Brazilian writer best remembered for his historical trilogy The Time and the Wind. A prolific writer, Erico Verissimo tried his hand at many literary genres such as short stories, children's literature, novels, essays, and travel literature. Many of his books have been translated into English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, and Russian among other languages.
Nélida Piñon is a Spanish-Brazilian writer best known for her 1984 book The Republic of Dreams. Regarded as one of the most important writers in Brazil, Piñon has been honored with several prestigious awards such as the FIL Award and Prince of Asturias Award. Nélida Piñon also works as a professor and has taught at institutions like Columbia University.
Bernardo Guimarães was a Brazilian novelist and poet. He is best remembered for his popular romantic novels, O Seminarista and A Escrava Isaura. As a poet, he is credited with introducing the verso bestialógico to Brazilian poetry. Bernardo Guimarães also worked as a teacher and taught Rhetoric, Poetics, French, and Latin.
Part of the Northeastern school of Brazil, author José Lins do Rego is best remembered for his Sugar Cane Cycle novels, which were largely semi-autobiographical in nature. His works usually highlighted the cultural and social issues of Brazil. He is still regarded as one of the best regionalist authors of Brazil.
Jorge de Lima was a Brazilian politician, poet, novelist, and biographer. Born into a wealthy family, he studied to be a physician. However, he was more inclined toward writing and wanted to make a name for himself as a poet. He eventually ended up pursuing both medicine and literature. Later in his career, he ventured into politics as well.
Brazilian author Manuel Antônio de Almeida initially studied art and medicine but later supported himself as a translator and journalist. His best-known work remains the iconic novel Memoirs of a Militia Sergeant. He often wrote under the pseudonym Um Brasileiro and was part of the romantic movement in literature.
Sergio Sant'Anna was a Brazilian writer who tried his hand at writing poems, short stories, plays, novels, and novellas. Many of his books have been translated into Italian and German. Sergio Sant'Anna's works have also been credited with influencing a newer generation of writers in Brazil.
Graça Aranha was a Brazilian diplomat and writer. He is best remembered as a pioneer of the modernism movement in Brazil and is credited with organizing an arts festival called The Modern Art Week in 1922. After his death, the Graça Aranha Foundation was established in his honor by a group of friends and intellectuals.
Adonias Filho was a Brazilian novelist, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. Some of his works still have a major impact on contemporary Brazilian literature. In 1969, Adonias Filho was honored at Academia Brasileira de Letras with the 21st chair.
Osman Lins was a Brazilian short story writer and novelist. Counted among the most important innovators of Brazilian literature, Lins achieved international fame for his novels and short stories during his lifetime. Osman Lins was honored with major Brazilian literary awards, including the prestigious Coelho Neto Prize.
Antônio Callado was a Brazilian lawyer, journalist, playwright, and novelist. He studied law and began working as a journalist and was associated with the BBC's Brazilian Service from 1941 to 1947. He eventually started writing fiction as well. His novel Quarup is regarded as his most famous work. He received many literary prizes including the Golfinho de Ouro.
José Américo de Almeida was a Brazilian writer, lawyer, teacher, politician, university professor, and sociologist. He is best remembered for his 1928 novel The Bagaceira, which is regarded as his magnum opus. His life and career inspired the 1981 documentary film O Homem de Areia by Vladimir Carvalho.