Macunaima - The Hero with No Character by Mario de Andrade

New Directions


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Macunaíma - The Hero with No Character by Mário de Andrade, translated by Katrina Dodson / ISBN 9780811227025 / 264-page paperback published in 2023 by New Directions


A brilliant new translation of the Brazilian modernist epic that aims to capture the country’s complex identity

Here at last is an exciting new edition of the Brazilian modernist epic Macunaíma: The Hero with No Character, by Mário de Andrade. This landmark 1928 novel follows the adventures of the shapeshifting Macunaíma and his brothers as they leave their Amazon home 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 Sao 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 context for this magnificent work.

"Macunaíma is a miracle. There’s nothing like it in all of literature. Katrina Dodson is a hero." ― Mario Bellatin

"An explosion of language… The obvious comparison for English speakers would be Ulysses, as an encyclopedia of styles, of language forms." ― Fredric Jameson

"We are so fortunate that Mário de Andrade’s rollicking Macunaíma is finally reappearing in English in Katrina Dodson’s dazzling translation." ― John Keene

"Macunaíma is above all a vision of mythical Brazilian consciousness, a picaresque epic of birth, triumph, decline and death." ― The New York Times

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