At Residencia de Estudiantes with Ana Miranda

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Tonight at Madrid’s Residencia de Estudiantes, Brazilian writer Ana Miranda shared with us the secrets of the inspiration for her historical novels, at least the ones related to poets:

She once had a dream where she was climbing a tower’s stairs to find on the top an old woman with a long white braid who told Ana Miranda that she had been Baroque poet Gregório de Matos’ lover; when a few days afterwards she found a book written by a historian about Padre Vieira’s “murder” and Matos’ support, she knew she would write Boca do Inferno in the context of late XVIIth century Salvador de Bahia, which would get her the prestigious Jabuti prize.

Still recovering from a heartbreak, she happened to re-read Gonçalves Dias’ desperate love poems and decided that she would write a novel about the Romantic poet, Dias & dias, Brazilian Academy Prize.

One day she found at a second-hand bookstore the second-edition of the only book of poems by the pre-modernist Augusto dos Anjos and, surprisingly, bought it very cheap; on her way home, a baby bird fell from a tree to the floor in front of her, dying quickly; after burying it, she thought of the similarities between dos Anjos’ short life without the possibility of writing more books and the poor baby bird losing its life ahead: that was the germ of her novel A última quimera, National Library Prize.

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