Milton Hatoum

Brazil

Tuesday 24 September 2013 at 20:00 Blixen

The Brazilian author is being published in Danish with Ashes from the Amazon – about the hardships during the Brazilian military dictatorship. 

The Brazilian author Milton Hatoum, comes from a multicultural and multiethnic background. He was born in the Brazilian town Manaus in 1952 as the son of a Lebanese father and a Brazilian-Lebanese mother. He grew up in an Arabic-Jewish neighborhood, and both his parents’ Arabic culture and the Jewish elements in his surroundings influenced his childhood.

Furthermore Hatoum is familiar with the majority of the canonized European literary heritage, as he has studied in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris and later became a professor in French language and literature at the University of Manaus. In an interview in the Portuguese magazine Floema with Marília Librandi-Rocha, from Stanford University, Hatoum lists a number of his European inspirational sources from the literary heavyweights: Flaubert (who he has translated into Portuguese), Sartre, Aischylos, Beckett and Céline.

Milton Hatoum published his first book in 1990, and his latest novel, Cinzas do Norte (2005), is now being published in a Danish translation (Aske fra Amazonas).

Waste and destruction in the Amazon
In a review of Cinzas do Norte in The Guardian Maya Jaggi wrote that the novel alludes directly to Hatoum's childhood years in its main setting of Manaus during Brazil's military dictatorship of 1964-85. ‘Through a tale of two schoolfriends caught between vying adult mentors and tormentors, it evokes a bitterly fraught era of creativity and collusion, of rebellion, exile and defeat.’

Jaggi concludes that ‘It is partly a sense of waste and destruction that gives this novel its bitterness. Yet the defeat of a generation, and its ultimate moral transcendence, also lends it an epic breadth.’

Hatoum will be interviewed by the danish radio anchor Tore Leifer.

 
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The event is in English

After the event we offer a glass of vine and a piece of chocolate from Summerbird

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