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Caio Fernando Abreu

Caio Fernando Abreu (b. 1948) was one of the most influential Brazilian writers of the 1970s and 80s, despite his work remaining underrecognized outside of Brazil. The author of 20 books, including 12 story collections and two novels, he has been awarded major literary prizes. During the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964–1985), his homoerotic writing was heavily censored and he was soon put on a wanted list, finding refuge in the literary counterculture and eventually by going into self-exile in Europe. In 1994, while living in France, he tested HIV positive. He died two years later in his hometown. He was 47 years old.

I, You, He

Archipelago Books consistently introduces brilliant international writers to English-language readers. In May, they'll publish Caio Fernando Abreu’s collection of eighteen stories, Moldy Strawberries, bringing this revered Brazilian writer to English for the first time. Abreu animates 1980s Brazil with deeply personal accounts of daily life against a larger biopolitical backdrop—much like Reinaldo Arenas did for 1970s Cuba. But the tone of these stories is what I found most striking. Abreu balances matter-of-fact description with an inquisitive voice similar to that of Ocean Vuong. The story excerpted here typifies Abreu’s investigation of self, otherness, and the unlikelihood of connection.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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