Pan-Amazonian Book Fair in town!

One of the largest literary fairs in the country is in Belém at the Hangar (Center of Conventions & Amazonian Fairs) starting tomorrow November 6th, 2009 and lasting 10 days. In accordance with Brazil’s Year of France, the Book Fair will be the official closing event which promoted French culture in Brazil and several notable French authors will be in attendance. The 13th edition of the Fair will include 176 stands and the participation of 112 expositions (57 of which are national and 55 being regional). Over half a million people are expected and R$25 million is expected to exchange hands, in accordance with last years numbers.

The event will also include Literary Meetings with the likes of Ariano Suassuna, Emir Sader, Moacir Scliar, Zeca Caramago, Frei Betto, Zuenir Ventura, Laurentino Gomes, Cristovam Tezza and Sérgio Nogueira. Each event will happen at 8PM in the auditorium on the 2nd floor. Also, pocket shows with musical guests Lenine (the 6th) and João Bosco (the 14th) are scheduled.

Entrance is free and the Hangar is open from 10AM to 10PM everyday. The Hangar is located at Av. Dr. Freitas, S/N (Sem Número meaning no number).

Official Site:

Official Schedule (PDF. in Port.)

Quinteto Armorial – Great instrumentals

My friend from Rio sent me a clip of a Brazilian band I had never heard of (something that is hard to do, as I listen to *a lot* of music), and I’m ever so thankful she did!

Quinteto Armorial was an important group from Recife which formed in 1970. They played what can be called Brazilian instrumental music and during their 10 year career, recorded four LPs. The group was brought together by writer Ariano Suassuna in order to have a band that would play erudite chamber music with popular roots and that is exactly what they did when they fused traditional music from the Northeast with classical. The result is fantastic.

Chamada e Marcha Caminheira

Ariano Suassuna – Brazil’s best playwright


Ariano Suassuna (born João Pessoa, 1927) is a Brazilian playwright and author.

Four of his plays have been filmed and he is considered one of Brazil’s greatest living playwrights. He is also an important regional writer doing various novels set in the Northeast of Brazil. He received an honorary doctorate at a ceremony performed at a circus.

His Plays

  • Auto da Compadecida, (1959);
  • O Castigo da Soberba, (1960);
  • O Casamento Suspeitoso, (1961);
  • Uma Mulher Vestida de Sol, (1964);
  • O Rico Avarento, (1964);
  • O Santo e a Porca, (1964);
  • Pena e a Lei, (1974);
  • Alto da Boa Preguiça, (1982).

On the first play, Auto da Compadecida, its probably the most famous he has written and it was turned into a movie in the last several years. Just a side note for those wishing to see it…It is set in the Northeast and uses many regionalisms and the film is a bit slapstick, not to mention they make fun of Northeasterners. Even I had a hard time understanding what made this film so good in the minds of many Brazilians for they absolutely loved it. That being said, I do plan to see it again to see if my opinion changes.

As far as Suassuna, he draws very large crowds when he gives speeches at universities these days. Unfortunately, on Youtube, much of his words get a bit distorted due to the microphone he uses and the acoustics of the places he speaks in. Natives shouldn’t have a problem understanding him though.

Here’s a short article on Suassuna in English, found on Varig Magazine (homepage).