Mário de Andrade

Translated by Katrina Dodson, with an introduction by John Keene

Published 26 April 2023
Fitzcarraldo Classics No.1 | French paperback with flaps, 320 pages

Here at last is an exciting new translation of the modernist Brazilian epic Macunaíma, by Mário de Andrade. This landmark novel from 1928 has been hugely influential. It follows the adventures of the shapeshifting Macunaíma and his brothers as they leave their home in the northern Amazon for a whirlwind tour of Brazil, cramming four centuries and a continental expanse into a single mythic plane. Having lost a magic amulet, the hero and his brothers journey to São Paulo to retrieve the talisman that has fallen into the hands of an Italo-Peruvian captain of industry (who is also a cannibal giant). Written over six delirious days –the fruit of years of study – Macunaíma magically synthesizes dialect, folklore, anthropology, mythology, flora, fauna, and pop culture to examine Brazilian identity. This brilliant translation by Katrina Dodson has been many years in the making and includes an extensive section of notes providing essential background information for this magnificent work.

‘Macunaíma is above all a vision of mythical Brazilian consciousness, a picaresque epic of birth, triumph, decline and death.’ 
— New York Times 

‘Macunaíma is a miracle. There’s nothing like it in all of literature. Katrina Dodson is a hero.’
— Mario Bellatin, author of Beauty Salon

‘We are so fortunate that Mário de Andrade’s rollicking Macunaímais finally reappearing in English in Katrina Dodson’s dazzling translation.’
— John Keene, author of Counternarratives

‘Dodson, a PEN Award–winning translator of Clarice Lispector, breathes new life into this spirited modernist classic from Brazillian writer de Andrade…Electrifying and perplexing, this cornerstone of Brazilian literature shouldn’t be missed.’
Publishers Weekly, starred review

Mário de Andrade (1893-1945) was a poet, novelist, critic, piano teacher, ethnomusicologist, and a leading figure in Brazilian culture. He was a central instigator of the 1922 Semana de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Week), which marked a new era of modernism. He spent much of his life pioneering the study and preservation of Brazilian folk heritage and was the founding director of São Paulo’s Department of Culture.

Katrina Dodson’s translation of the Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector was awarded the 2016 PEN Translation Prize, the Lewis Galantière Award, and a Northern California Book Award. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

John Keene, a noted Portuguese translator himself, is the author of Annotations and Counternarratives, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions and winner of the inaugural Republic of Consciousness Prize in 2017.