For the first time ever, and against the backdrop of Bolsonaro’s emboldened far-right regime, Brazil’s legendary and pioneering queer writers appear together in English translation.
This far-reaching, bilingual assortment of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and photography—erotic and personal, revolutionary, hopeful, joyous, and bitter—continues the legacy of defiant queer expression in Brazil and demands its prolific, unapologetic future.
In fresh and poetic prose, Raimundo Neto brings us lesser-known narratives of queer life in rural Brazil, including the story of a boy determined to become the “harvest bride” at a the local annual harvest dance. Poet Angélica Freitas details a disturbingly familiar world in which women are divided into rigid binaries—clean or dirty, good or bad—with stark language that builds into utter absurdity. And Caio Fernando Abreu sits in a hospital dying of AIDS, meeting with angels and writing letters in which he repeats “all I can do is write” like a mantra. Spanning four decades, and featuring a total of thirteen writers, Cuíer reminds us again, as Natalia Affonso says in her translation of Tatiana Nascimento’s poem:
…what we make
lying down is
The Calico Series, published biannually by Two Lines Press, captures vanguard works of translated literature in stylish, collectible editions. Each Calico is a vibrant snapshot that explores one aspect of our present moment, offering the voices of previously inaccessible, highly innovative writers from around the world today.
Praise for the Calico Series
“A fantastic and deeply philosophical addition to Two Lines’ Calico series of collected works in translation.” —Booklist, on Elemental
“[Elemental’s] mission is to show, by removing these texts from their natural habitats and plonking them on a stage devoid of context with no illumination but the harsh gaze of the quizzical reader, just how good translations can be. And I’m very pleased to report that the exercise is remarkably successful.” —Kit Maude, Akimbo Books, on Elemental
“Stone, earth, water, ice, wind, and burning heat. The stories here dig deep and unexpectedly into life’s fundamentals—the elements and the passions—bringing into English, many for the first time, writers of stature from across the globe. A celebration of both storytelling and translation, Elemental is essential, a gift that opens up the pleasures of new worlds.” —Hugh Raffles, author of The Book of Unconformities, on Elemental
“Marvelous…a credit to the art of both poets and translators.” —Cynthia Hogue, author of In June the Labyrinth and co-translator of Joan Darc, by Nathalie Quintane, on Home
“Unbelievably exciting…These are poems to read and reread, repeating the lines as though they were a secret between yourself and the page.” —The Paris Review, on Home
“The poems in this anthology abound with vivid imagery and moving remembrances of the past. They’re also a powerful demonstration of how, using only a handful of words, a poet can create an entire world—as Mohamad Nassereddine does in ‘The Mechanic’s Heresy.’ Observe: ‘When the mechanic in blue / stares up at the sky, / for a minute, he thinks himself God.’ Haunting and resonant throughout.” —Words Without Borders, on Home
“This remarkable anthology of Chinese speculative fiction offers seven tales of societal responsibility and individual freedom. . . . By turns cryptic and revealing, phantasmagorical and straightforward, these tales balance reality and fantasy on the edge of a knife.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review of That We May Live
“With enthralling and precise language, this first book in Two Lines Press’ Calico series of collected translated literature impresses…This collection of speculative Chinese fiction is compelling and provocative, exploring the thin line between reality and absurdity.” —Booklist, starred review of That We May Live