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Professor becomes rising literary star in Brazil with two acclaimed novels

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Passos.croppedJosé Luiz Passos — “Zé” to his friends and students — is one of the rising new stars of Brazilian literature. A professor of Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures at UCLA, Passos has published two novels in Portuguese with one of the top publishers in Latin America, Alfaguara. Headquartered in Spain, Alfaguara is a global publisher that specifically focuses on Latin American writers.
 
His first novel, “Nosso grão mais fino” (Our Finer Grain), was published in Brazil in 2009. Already known in his homeland as a literary scholar with two books of literary criticism already published and a third due out soon, Passos won recognition with the release of his novel as a serious fiction writer in Brazil for the first time. It was well-reviewed by Brazilian literary critics — many of whom are contemporary Brazilian authors — and established him as an important member of the country’s younger generation of writers.
 
Passos’ second novel, “O sonâmbulo amador” (The Amateur Sleepwalker), was published in Brazil in October 2012 to universal critical acclaim. The novel was, for example, immediately included in the “best books of 2012” listings of all the major Brazilian newspapers. Passos spent 2013 speaking by invitation at literary festivals and book fairs throughout Brazil, including the country’s oldest international book festival, FLIP (Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty).
 
Now the writer, the winner of two major prizes in literature, is hoping to crack the U.S literary market by getting his work published in English.
 
Read the entire story on the International Institute website.
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