Ana Maria Machado – Brazil


She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Ana Maria Machado is a Brazilian journalist, writer, and professor born in Rio de Janeiro on December 24, 1941. She has her lifetime achievement, by the Brazilian Academy of Letters. (wikipedia).

She says: “My thirst for justice is what defines me. Peace is a harmonious coexistence between those who are different, in a world where social justice is guaranteed and individual liberty is respected”.

Find her website in portuguese.

Com mais de 100 livros publicados, no Brasil e em mais de 17 países, somando quase catorze milhões de exemplares vendidos, a escritora Ana Maria Machado sabe como ninguém conquistar o leitor de todas as idades. Entre os prêmios ganhos ao longo de 33 anos de carreira, merecem destaque os seguintes: Américas; APCA; APPLE, Instituto Jean Piaget (Suíça); Casa de Las Américas (Cuba); Jabuti; e muitos outros. Em 2000, Ana recebeu a medalha Hans Christian Andersen, considerada o Nobel da literatura infantil mundial. Em 2001, a Academia Brasileira de Letras lhe deu o maior prêmio literário nacional, o Machado de Assis, pelo conjunto da obra. (full text).


Ana Maria Machado – Brazil

Her blog.

She says also: “It’s difficult for me to say who might have influenced me. I know I was an avid reader and still am. From North America, my first passion was Mark Twain. I remember asking my father for a book that would make me live through the story from within, very intimately with the characters. So, he bought me The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and that became an instant passion. Then came Huckleberry Finn, which has been the book I’ve read the most times. Eventually I read all his other books. Later, at age nineteen, I discovered John Dos Passos, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Hemingway. From these last two I’ve read all they have written many times over. It was pure passion, especially Hemingway, whom I consider one of that very select group of writers who have thoroughly mastered their craft. He is a writer I would like to emulate someday; his ability to give voice to the land, whether in Pamplona, the Gulf of Mexico, or Africa, is truly astonishing. He is so humble amid nature, and his quietness allows nature to speak for itself in his works. Faulkner, on the other hand, speaks more directly to me as an individual. He overwhelms me and never ceases to impress me with his sensitivity and the way he is able to express the ineffable”. (full text).

She works for the Academia Brasileira de Letras, (see also on wikipedia).

Ana Maria Machado (1941) was born in a time when female presence in literature was still insignificant. Today, her work is eternalized in the Brazilian Academy of Literature, of which she is a part. She is the first writer of children’s books to get into the Academy and she always demonstrates the importance of this institution for the battle on prejudice against children that are many times seen as a second class public. She published more than 100 books.

Ana Maria Machado dedicates her mornings to writing fiction in a daily exercise of visiting a space in the subconscious. “It is necessary to be very humble and docile”, she says. But make no mistake: Ana Maria’s sweetness in writing does not stop her, in any way, from being a warrior.

Her presence in juvenile literature began when she was exiled, after leaving Brazil threatened by the military dictatorship. When she returned, she worked as a journalist, fought against the censorship of the media and was the first woman to be the head of a news department. She directed the news department of the Jornal do Brasil radio station until 1980, period when democratic government was reestablished. From then on, she dedicated herself exclusively to book writing, area in which she left important marks: she was the leader of the campaign for changing the cataloguing criteria in the National Library, demanding that female authors should also have the historical context of their work registered.

She lives in the district of Leblon, in Rio, where she was born. She believes that literature is an attempt to coordinate chaos, to look for some sense in the existence that lies beyond the barriers. Among her many activities, there is one that has occupied Ana Maria for more than twenty years: the qualification of teachers in Latin American. Organizer of seminars on this subject for Unesco, she gives lectures, conferences and promotes courses for educators.

In her opinion, peace depends on this capacity of sharing cultures, ethnicities and religions, in other words, of being tolerant with those who are different. She believes that, in this aspect, Brazil has a great contribution to give, since this is a country where cultural and religious tolerance is admirable. “But all transformations are connected to justice”, she affirms.

“My thirst for justice is what defines me. Peace is a harmonious coexistence between those who are different, in a world where social justice is guaranteed and individual liberty is respected.”

During her 33 year old career, Ana Maria Machado spread her work throughout 17 countries, with 14 million copies sold all over the world. In the year 2000, she was given the Hans Christian Andersen Prize for her work in juvenile literature. (1000peacewomen).

Ana Maria Machado of Rio de Janeiro received the Hans Christian Andersen Prize for children’s literature in 2000 and has been awarded the National Literary Prize by the Brazilian Academy. She has written over 100 books and is published all over the world. She began her career as a painter, then became a teacher, writer and translator. Leaving Brazil, due to the political situation, she lived in exile working as a journalist in Paris for Elle and in London for the BBC. Upon returning to Brazil she continued a career in broadcasting and writing. Her many wonderful books for children include Niña bonita, Camilon, Comilin, La Abuelita, and The Adventurous Grandmother. (full text).

Read: TRANSLATION AND ADAPTATION of Alice in Wonderland.

Similar to many Brazilian children’s book authors of her generation, Ana Maria Machado stands in the tradition of the first great children’s book author, José Bento Monteiro Lobatos (1882-1948). Her writing is marked, in the style of “magical realism”, by a subtle mix of social satire and fantastic elements as well as a conscious and playful use of language and narrative structures. In ‘História meio ao contrario’ (1978), Ana Maria Machado turns the classic narrative structure of the fairytale on its head and lets her story begin with: “And if they didn’t die, then they are still alive today” and end with “once upon a time”. (full text).

Read: An interview with Ana Maria Machado.
I think that the international exchange though the translation of children’s books should be one of the most effective ways of promoting international understanding . When a child reads a books from a different country, she gets to know how different people can be so much alike, and what it means to be human, universal, and not only national. But unfortunately, I really don’t think there’s real exchange. Some markets are powerful and behave as if they could be self-sufficient — but cultural self-sufficiency may be another name for cultural impoverishment. This is specially true in the English-speaking world, because of the huge economical and political weight of the U.S. and the U.K. Everywhere in the world, everybody learns English, tries to read English, translates books written in English. But seldom things happen the other way. (full text).

The 2000 Hans Christian Andersen Awards.

Her writings in portuguese: on; on YouTube 4.45 min: Palavra de Honra em Audiobook; on Barnes & Noble, on amazon.

Her Biografia: Sexta ocupante da Cadeira nº 1, eleita em 24 de abril de 2003, na sucessão de Evandro Lins e Silva e recebida em 29 de agosto de 2003 pelo acadêmico Tarcísio Padilha.

Ana Maria Machado nasceu em Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, a 24 de dezembro de 1941. É casada com o músico Lourenço Baeta, do quarteto Boca Livre, tendo o casal uma filha. Do casamento anterior com o médico Álvaro Machado, Ana Maria teve dois filhos.

Estudou no Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro e no MoMa de Nova York, tendo participado de salões e exposições individuais e coletivas no país e no exterior, enquanto fazia o curso de Letras (depois de desistir do curso de Geografia). Formou-se em Letras Neolatinas, em 1964, na então Faculdade Nacional de Filosofia da Universidade do Brasil, e fez estudos de pós-graduação na UFRJ.

Deu aulas na Faculdade de Letras na UFRJ (Literatura Brasileira e Teoria Literária) e na Escola de Comunicação da UFRJ, bem como na PUC-Rio (Literatura Brasileira). Além de ensinar nos colégios Santo Inácio e Princesa Isabel, no Rio, e no Curso Alfa de preparação para o Instituto Rio Branco, também lecionou em Paris, na Sorbonne (Língua Portuguesa) e na Universidade de Berkeley, Califórnia – onde já havia sido escritora residente.

No final de 1969, depois de ser presa pelo governo militar e ter diversos amigos também detidos, deixou o Brasil e partiu para o exílio. Na bagagem para a Europa, levava cópias de algumas histórias infantis que estava escrevendo, a convite da revista Recreio. Lutando para sobreviver com seu filho Rodrigo ainda pequeno, trabalhou como jornalista na revista Elle em Paris e no Serviço Brasileiro da BBC de Londres, além de se tornar professora de Língua Portuguesa na Sorbonne. Nesse período, participou de um seleto grupo de estudantes na École Pratique des Hautes Études cujo mestre era Roland Barthes, e terminou sua tese de doutorado em Lingüística e Semiologia sob a sua orientação, em Paris, onde nasceu seu filho Pedro. A tese resultou no livro Recado do Nome, sobre a obra de Guimarães Rosa.

Como jornalista, trabalhou no Correio da Manhã, no Jornal do Brasil, no O Globo, e colaborou com as revistas Realidade, IstoÉ e Veja e com os semanários O Pasquim, Opinião e Movimento. Durante sete anos, chefiou o jornalismo do Sistema Jornal do Brasil de Rádio. Criou e dirigiu por 18 anos, com duas sócias, a primeira livraria do país especializada em livros infantis, a Malasartes. Também foi editora, uma das sócias da Quinteto Editorial. Há 25 anos vem exercendo intensa atividade na promoção da leitura e fomento do livro, tendo dado consultorias, seminários da UNESCO em diferentes países e sido vice-presidente do IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People).

Escondida por um pseudônimo, ganhou o prêmio João de Barro pelo livro História Meio ao Contrário, em 1977. Abandonou o jornalismo em 1980, para a partir de então se dedicar ao que mais gosta: escrever seus livros, tantos os voltados para adultos como os infantis. Sua filha Luísa nasceu em 1983. Em 1993 a acadêmica se tornou hors concours dos prêmios da Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil (FNLIJ).

Recebeu vários prêmios no país e no exterior, entre eles o Casa de Las Americas (Cuba, 1980), o Hans Christian Andersen, internacional, pelo conjunto de sua obra infantil (2000), o Machado de Assis, pelo conjunto da obra, da Academia Brasileira de Letras (2001), o Machado de Assis da Biblioteca Nacional para romance. Foi também agraciada, em alguns casos mais de uma vez, com prêmios como: Jabuti, Prêmio Bienal de SP, João de Barro, APCA, Cecília Meireles, O Melhor para o Jovem, O Melhor para a Criança, Otávio de Faria, Adolfo Aizen, e menções no APPLE (Association Pour la Promotion du Livre pour Enfants, Instituto Jean Piaget, Génève), no FÉE (Fondation Espace Enfants, Suíça) e Americas Award (Estados Unidos).

É membro do PEN Clube do Brasil e do Seminário de Literatura da Universidade de Cambridge, na Inglaterra. Recebeu a Ordem do Mérito Cultural, no grau de Grão-Mestre, a Medalha Tiradentes e a Grande Ordem Cultural da Colômbia.

Publicou mais de cem livros no Brasil, muitos deles traduzidos em cerca de vinte países. (Biografia).

Ana Maria Machado (Rio de Janeiro, 24 de dezembro de 1941) é uma jornalista, professora, pintora e escritora brasileira com mais de cem livros publicados. Como jornalista, trabalhou por mais de 10 anos na Rádio Jornal do Brasil. Foi uma das fundadoras, em 1980, da primeira livraria infantil no Brasil, a “Malasartes” (no Rio de Janeiro), que existe até hoje. Nessa década ela publicou mais de quarenta livros, e em 1981 recebeu o Prêmio Casa de las Américas com o livro De Olho nas penas. O reconhecimento mundial das obras de Ana Maria Machado aconteceu em 2000, quando recebeu o Prêmio Hans Christian Andersen, o mais importante prêmio de Literatura Infantil. Hoje, exerce intensa atividade na promoção da leitura e formento do livro … (wikipedia).


Ana Maria Machado, From Another World;

A stimulating meeting;

European Educational Research Journal EERJ;

Nina Bonita, A Story.

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