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Rio de Janeiro is not quite a “world city”. It is too laid back, too full of switchbacks, so many roads ending at the beach. Yet in the coming years, it will be the focus of enormous suspense, high passions, international achievements and doubtless, great disappointments too. This year, a host of events will mark Rio+20: the twentieth anniversary of the original global climate change summit. Next year, Brazil will be the focus country at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the biggest trade fair for books. In 2014, Brazil will host the World Cup. Another blink, and we’ll be back to Rio for the 2016 Olympics.
So it’s a good time for Litro to dip into Rio’s writing scene. This issue features carioca poets, fiction and nonfiction writers and translators. Among them, Ramon Mello takes us through his stacks of musty records; Lúcia Bettencourt snaps a typically sweltering Rio commute, lightened by flirtation; the erotic shows its darker side in Nilton Resende’s “The Crack”. Brazilians are masters of the short short – represented here by Tatiana Salem Levy’s “Desert” and two of Adriana Lisboa’s shimmering caligrafías. Experiment is not lacking anywhere: literature and mortality entwine in surprising ways in João Paulo Cuenca’s “The Tattooist” and Sérgio Rodrigues’ “The Stapfnunsk Report”. That is not all.
If you like what you find here, please tell us. There may be more Brazilian issues, with different focuses, in the works.