Letters from Brazil
A Cultural-Historical Narrative Made Fiction
About the Book
Letters from Brazil: A Cultural-Historical Narrative Made Fiction recounts the adventures of young researcher Mike Gaherty in Brazil in the turbulent 1960s. It tells the story of his research on Brazilian folklore and folk-popular literature (with inevitable amorous moments along the way) while dodging encounters and threats from agents of the DOPS, Brazil’s chief espionage and anti-communist, anti-subversion agency. The nation’s military revolution of 1964 and subsequent evolution to dictatorship are the background for Gaherty’s ups and downs in Brazil’s Northeast, the Northeast Interior, Salvador da Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, the Amazon, and a final harrowing time in Recife. The thread of the narrative is the series of letters requested of Gaherty by James Hansen of the New York Times (international section) and his later involvement with Stanley Iverson of the INR (Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the United States Department of State)-WHA (Western Hemisphere Affairs) reporting on Gaherty’s own research activities in Brazil and his discoveries of political and social sentiment in northeastern Brazil. The young American researcher reports as well on meetings with major Brazilian cultural figures, encounters with Brazilian Afro-Brazilian phenomena like Xango, Candomble, and Capoeira, impressive times during New Year’s Eve and the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and cultural-travel highlights throughout Brazil. The fly in the ointment was the DOPS.
About the Author
Mark Curran is a retired professor from Arizona State University where he worked from 1968 to 2011. He taught Spanish and Portuguese and their respective cultures. His research specialty was Brazil and its "popular poetry in verse" or the "literatura de cordel," and he has published many articles in research reviews and now some sixteen books related to the "cordel" in Brazil, Spain and the United States. Other books done during retirement are either of an autobiographical nature - "The Farm" and "Coming of Age with the Jesuits" - and/or reflect classes taught at ASU on Luso-Brazilian Civilization or Latin American Civilization. The latter are all found in the series "Stories I Told My Students, " books on Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. His most recent activity was as "staff" on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic on the National Geographic Explorer in 2013, 2014 and 2016. See: www.currancordelconnection firstname.lastname@example.org