Fiction. Winner of the 2008 Ruthanne Wiley Memorial Novella Contest Selected by Josip Novakovich. BRAZIL is a quintessential American road trip. Paulo, an 18-year-old bell boy in a Miami Beach hotel, and Claudia, a wealthy Hungarian refugee, take off on a night drive that turns into a crosscountry journey, a sleep-deprived search for the real America and for missing family, a fast-moving car trip into her past and toward their future.
Author City: MADISON, WI USA
Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of eleven books of fiction, poetry and nonfiction including the poetry collection Cinema Muto (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the Crab Orchard Open Selection Award, and the story collection The Alice Stories (University of Nebraska Press), which won the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize. Her first story collection The Dogeater (University of Missouri Press) won the Associated Writing Programs Award in Short Fiction, and Space (Alonquin Books), her memoir about growing up near Cape Kennedy during the moon race, won the Alex Award from the American Library Association. Her individual stories and poems appear regularly in magazines in the U.S, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. She is currently the Sally Mead Hands Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she directs of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
Reviews and Other Links
Ann Beman @ NewPages
Megan Straub @ The Southeast Review
“Kercheval’s novella is not only structured as a journey but is a wild ride through much of America, portraying two unlikely companions in a highly charged and tense relationship. The narrative moves briskly, in economic language, and chronologically, without the customary flashbacks and postmodernist collage tricksan extremely well written and suspenseful tale, cinematically vivid, provocative, and wonderful.”
“BRAZIL reminds me of why I started reading in the first place, to be enchanted, to be swept up and carried away from my world and dropped into a world at once more vivid and incandescent. The prose is luminous and compassionate, the characters are riveting and heroic, the themes complex and resonant, and the pace is relentless. This is not a book you can put down before it’s finished with you. You won’t soon forget Paulo and Claudia as they rocket across the country into the heartland, searching for love, family, and a home in the world.”
“The novella is at once the most elegant and demanding form: a writer must balance the looseness of a novel with the concision of a short story, a feat that only the bravest and most talented of us can manage. In BRAZIL, Jesse Lee Kercheval proves, yet again, that she is exactly the right writer for the job. A wild American picaresque, BRAZIL snaps along briskly, yet feels full-fleshed, and brims with a sly wit and grace.”