Jorge Amado’s Influence on Brazilian Culture

1960s: Days of Rage

“When Jorge Amado died in 2001, people were already talking about him as Brazil’s cultural ambassador to the world. His novels, translated into nearly 50 languages, made many in the West suddenly familiar with the largest Latin American nation. … Amado’s emphasis on regional dialect, empowered female characters, anti-racism, folk culture, and the dignity of the worker offer a rich and politically-charged vision of Brazilian life. The author himself declared he had done more to introduce the world to Brazil than any institution, any government effort, did. Comparing himself to the Brazilian government isn’t entirely fair, however. In Amado’s time, the government wasn’t much of a constant or predictable institution. Born in 1912, Amado witnessed the Brazilian Revolution of 1930, marking the end of the Old Republic and initiating a dictatorship. This regime, called the Vargas Era, lasted until 1946, when a leader was once again elected to rule over…

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