The start of Literary World Cup is here! The two winners for group A, Brazil and Mexico, are playing against each other in the next Group A match on Tuesday the 17th. I’m already thinking of some great ideas for whichever team wins, but if you have any ideas of Brazilian or Mexican literature I should consider let me know.
Veronika Decides to Die
Coelho is a well-known Brazillian author that holds the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author for his novel The Alchemist. His novel Veronika Decides to Die tells the story of Veronika a young woman with a seemingly perfect life who tries to commit suicide. While her suicide attempt fails it leaves her body so damaged that she only has a few days left to live. While staying in the Villete, a mental hospital, Veronika finds herself drawn into the lives of the other patients which helps her learn more about what living and dying really is.
The Skin of the Sky
Winner of the 2001 Alfaguara Prize (a Spanish-language literary award) Poniatowska’s novel The Skin of the Sky showcases Mexican astronomer Lorenzo de Tena in a fictional biography. Lorenzo’s story starts with his mother explaining the stories behind constellations, and his world focuses on the stars throughout. De Tena and his siblings are the illegitimate children of a Mexican businessman growing up in Mexico during the 1940’s. When Lorenzo’s mother dies, his father brings all the children to live with him, introducing them into a world they never knew. Through his struggles in this new environment, Lorenzo finds solace in the stars. His love of astronomy cuts through Lorenzo’s whole story from his initial encounter with constellations to his time at Harvard and to his life as a well regarded astronomer.