Machado de Assis (1839-1908) is the great Brazilian author of Philosopher or Dog? and Epitaph of a Small Winner, whose work is admired by writers as different as Salman Rushdie, Carlos Fuentes, Woody Allen and Susan Sontag. Taken from his mature period, these dazzling stories echo Poe and Gogol, anticipate Joyce, and have been compared to the writing of Chekhov, Maupassant and Henry James, yet his modern sensibility and clear-eyed humour remain utterly unique.
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908) was born and lived his whole life in Rio de Janeiro. The son of poor parents, and mulatto, he worked his way to a successful career as a civil servant and a writer. He was revered (though not understood) in his lifetime, and was unanimously elected President of the Brazilian Academy of Letters when it was founded in 1896. He is still universally regarded as the greatest Brazilian writer. John Gledson is Professor Emeritus of Brazilian Studies at the University of Liverpool. He has produced Brazilian editions of Machado de Assis's stories and newspaper columns, and is also the translator of his novel Dom Casmurro (Oxford University Press, 1997), along with novels by Milton Hatoum and critical works by Roberto Schwarz, among others.
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