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Bahia Blues

by Yasmina Traboulsi

Eh Gringa, Hear our voices. It's a struggle on the streets here in Brazil. See the destruction of our innocence, hopes and dreams against a backdrop of drugs, sex and gun warfare. Read these wonderful pen portraits and hear the bittersweet lament that we hope will make you care passionately about our lives.

This is a great book which could also be an equally great film. It cuts between points of view and internal monologues in a way which makes it feel like a screenplay just waiting to happen.

Extract

Mama was clutching her suitcases as though she had packed all her dignity and last hopes inside them. I could see that she was regretting leaving the Square. In front of us were creepy-looking hills covered with shacks. I felt lost just looking at them. The shacks were like leeches, stuck all over the mountains, devouring them. I couldn't see how it all stayed standing - it seemed to me that the rain and the wind were about to wash it all away. How would we manage to live in this gigantic rat warren?
Translated by Polly McLean

Parallels

Shepherds of the Night by Jorge Amado
City of God - the film
 

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