Regina Rheda is a contemporary award-winning Brazilian writer whose original voice and style have won her many admirers. First World Third Class and Other Tales of the Global Mix presents some of her finest and most representative work to an English-speaking readership. Stories from the Copan Building consists of eight tales set in a famous residential building in São Paulo. The stories, like the apartment complex, are a microcosm of modern-day urban Brazil. They are witty, consistently caustic, and never predictable.
Also in this volume is the poignant and often hilarious novel First World Third Class. It depicts young middle-class professionals and artists who, as opportunities in Brazil diminished, opted to leave their country, even if it meant taking menial jobs abroad. At the center of the narrative is Rita, a thirty-year-old aspiring filmmaker who migrates to England, and then Italy. She looks for work and love in all the wrong places, moving from city to city and from bed to bed.
The last three stories in this collection also happen to be among the author's most recent. "The Enchanted Princess" is an ironic title for a postfeminist tale of a South American woman being wooed to marry an old-world gentleman who promises to take care of her every need. "The Sanctuary" concerns the living conditions of immigrant workers and farm animals. Equally piquant in nature, "The Front" deals with ecology, labor environments, and gender politics.
The Latin American Ecocultural Reader is a comprehensive anthology of literary and cultural texts about the natural world. The selections, drawn from throughout the Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil, span from the early colonial period to the present. Editors Jennifer French and Gisela Heffes present work by canonical figures, including José Martí, Bartolomé de las Casas, Rubén Darío, and Alfonsina Storni, in the context of our current state of environmental crisis, prompting new interpretations of their celebrated writings. They also present contemporary work that illuminates the marginalized environmental cultures of women, indigenous, and Afro-Latin American populations. Each selection is introduced with a short essay on the author and the salience of their work; the selections are arranged into eight parts, each of which begins with an introductory essay that speaks to the political, economic, and environmental history of the time and provides interpretative cues for the selections that follow.
The editors also include a general introduction with a concise overview of the field of ecocriticism as it has developed since the 1990s. They argue that various strands of environmental thought—recognizable today as extractivism, eco-feminism, Amerindian ontologies, and so forth—can be traced back through the centuries to the earliest colonial period, when Europeans first described the Americas as an edenic “New World” and appropriated the bodies of enslaved Indians and Africans to exploit its natural bounty.
Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song is a critical study of MPB (música popular brasileira), a term that refers to varieties of urban popular music of the 1960s and 1970s, incorporating samba, Bossa Nova, and new materials.
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