Description

 Brazil is the first work of fiction to depict five centuries of a great nation’s extraordinary history, its evolution from colony to kingdom, from empire to modern republic.  With a stunning cast of real and fictional characters, this sweeping epic unfolds in South America, Africa and Europe.

 

“Uys has accomplished what no Brazilian author from José de Alencar to Jorge Amado was able to do. He is the first to write our national epic in all its decisive episodes -- the first outsider to see Brazil with total honesty,” says Brazilian critic, Professor Wilson Martins, Jornal do Brasil.

 

 

Lacing the tale together are the shifting fortunes of two dissimilar Brazilian families. The Cavalcantis are among the original Portuguese settlers and carve a gracious plantation out of the Pernambuco wilderness of the north - the classic Brazilian casa grande, vast, powerful, and built with slave labor. The da Silvas of mixed Portuguese and Tupiniquin blood are a spirited family of dreamers, pathfinders, soldiers and entrepreneurs. For generations, these adventurers set their eyes on El Dorado, a vision of wealth ultimately achieved in a huge financial empire that makes them power brokers in the new Brazil.

 

Brazil is an intensely human story -- brutal and violent, tender and passionate. Perilous explorations through the Brazilian wilderness . . . the perpetual clash of pioneer and native, visionary and fortune hunter, master and slave, zealot and exploiter . . . the thunder of war on land and sea as European powers and South American nations pursue their territorial conquests... the triumphs and tragedies of a people who built a nation covering half the South American continent, all are here in one spellbinding saga.

 

The principal characters, both real and imaginary, are hard to forget. Among them: the great Indian warrior-chief, Aruanã; Amador da Silva, a bandeirante ‘flag-bearing’ pioneer and emerald hunter; Secundus Proot, a Dutch artist-adventurer in the Amazon; Black Peter, a freed African slave who takes murderous revenge on his persecutors; Antônio Paciência, a brave soldier and humble hero of the landless; Francisco Lopéz, doomed and gallant president of Paraguay; Anthony the Counselor of Canudos, visionary rebel of the backlands.

 

Errol Lincoln Uys (pronounced ‘Ace’) devoted five years to the research and writing of Brazil, where he traveled 15,000 miles, almost exclusively by bus to get a feel for the country. His journey took him into the sertão, the arid backlands of the Northeast, and to the green valleys of coastal Pernambuco. He voyaged the Amazon from Belém to Manaus and rode by bus down to southernmost Rondônia. He followed the route of the bandeirantes, the Brazilian pathfinders, west and south of São Paulo, and roamed the highlands of Minas Gerais.

 

The result is an unsentimentalized chronicle that combines great adventure with an impressive level of historical research. The intermingling of the real historical individuals with the fictional Cavalcantis and da Silvas creates an aura of verisimilitude depicts Brazil at ground level free from the eternal stereotypes.







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Errol Lincoln Uys
Errol Lincoln Uys is the author of the epic historical novel, Brazil, and non-fiction Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move During the Great Depression. Growing up in South Afri More...