Virtual Event: Graciliano Ramos's "São Bernardo" with Padma Viswanathan and Edwin Frank

June 18, 2020, 7:30 PM

Join us for a virtual conversation around Graciliano Ramos's São Bernardo, with translator Padma Viswanathan and NYRB Classics editor Edwin Frank. This program will take place on Zoom. Register here: 

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A masterwork about backcountry life by one of Brazil's most celebrated novelists.

Paulo Honório is a sometime field hand who has kicked and clawed and schemed his way to prosperity, becoming master of the decrepit estate São Bernardo, where once upon a time he toiled. He is ruthless in his exploitation of his fellow man, but when he makes a match with a fine young woman, he is surprised to discover that this latest acquisition, as he sees it, may be somewhat harder to handle. It is in Paulo Honório’s own rough-hewn voice that the great Brazilian writer Graciliano Ramos, often compared to William Faulkner, tells this gritty and dryly funny story of triumph and comeuppance, a tour de force of the writer’s art that is beautifully captured in Padma Viswanathan’s new translation.

GRACILIANO RAMOS (1892–1953) was a writer, politician, and journalist. He spent most of his life in Palmeira dos Índios, in northeast Brazil, where he owned a general store and served as the mayor. In 1936, Ramos was arrested and imprisoned on a penal island. He was most likely suspected of being a Communist. After his release from prison, he published his most famous novel, Barren Lives.

PADMA VISWANATHAN’s debut novel, The Toss of a Lemon, has been published in eight countries and was a finalist for several prizes. Her second novel, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao, was a national bestseller in Canada and was short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her short fiction and nonfiction work has been published in several outlets, including Granta, the Boston ReviewElle (Canada), and Guernica. She teaches creative writing at the University of Arkansas.

EDWIN FRANK was born in Boulder, Colorado, and educated at Harvard College and Columbia University. He is the author of Snake Train: Poems 1984–2013 and the editorial director of the NYRB Classics series.