Brazil’s most pathetic profession

Vanessa Barbara – The New York Times, 12/15/2013

First came “Granta 121: The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists,” a 2012 edition of the British literary magazine. Then Brazil was the guest of honor at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, held in October and attended by some 90 authors representing the country’s literary diversity. Next year we will perform a similar role at the Goteborg Book Fair in Sweden and at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy.

And yet, despite all this fanfare, when in Brazil, do not tell anyone you’re a writer. Not only will they deny you credit at the grocery store, but almost certainly they will laugh at you, asking right away: “No, seriously. What do you do for a living?”

Unless your name is Paulo Coelho, writing is seen as about as useful and profitable as whale-snot collecting.

Read more…

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