Jorge Amado

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Jorge Amado
Jorge Amado, 1935.jpg
Jorge Amado in 1935
BornJorge Leal Amado de Faria
(1912-08-10)10 August 1912
Itabuna, Bahia, Brazil
Died6 August 2001(2001-08-06) (aged 88)
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
OccupationWriter, professor
Alma mater Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Faculty of Law
Literary movement Modernism
Notable works Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon , Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands , Tieta , Captains of the Sands
Spouse Zélia Gattai (1945–2001) (his death)
Relatives Véra Clouzot (cousin)
Signature Jorge Amado Signature.jpg

Jorge Leal Amado de Faria (10 August 1912 – 6 August 2001) was a Brazilian writer of the modernist school. He remains the best known of modern Brazilian writers, with his work having been translated into some 49 languages and popularized in film, notably Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands in 1976. His work reflects the image of a Mestiço Brazil and is marked by religious syncretism. He depicted a cheerful and optimistic country that was beset, at the same time, with deep social and economic differences.


He occupied the 23rd chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters from 1961 until his death in 2001. He won the 1984 International Nonino Prize in Italy.

Jorge Amado also was Federal Deputy for São Paulo by Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) between 1947 and 1951.


Amado was born on a farm near the inland city of Itabuna, in the south of the Brazilian state of Bahia. He was the eldest of four sons of João Amado de Faria and D. Eulália Leal. The farm was located in the village of Ferradas, which, though today is a district of Itabuna, was at the time administered by the coastal city of Ilhéus. For this reason he considered himself a citizen of Ilhéus. From his exposure to the large cocoa plantations of the area, Amado knew the misery and the struggles of the people working the land and living in almost slave conditions. This was to be a theme present in several of his works (for example, The Violent Land of 1944).

As a result of a smallpox epidemic, his family moved to Ilhéus when he was one year old, and he spent his childhood there. [1] He attended high school in Salvador, the capital of the state. By the age of 14 Amado had begun to collaborate with several magazines and took part in literary life, as one of the founders of the Modernist "Rebels' Academy". [1]

He was the cousin of Brazilian lawyer, writer, journalist and politician Gilberto Amado, [2] and of Brazilian actress and screenwriter Véra Clouzot. [3]

Amado published his first novel, The Country of Carnival , in 1931, at age 18. He married Matilde Garcia Rosa and had a daughter, Lila, in 1933. The same year he published his second novel, Cacau , which increased his popularity. He studied law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Faculty of Law but never became a practising lawyer. [4] His leftist activities made his life difficult under the dictatorial regime of Getúlio Vargas. In 1935 he was arrested for the first time, and two years later his books were publicly burned. His works were banned from Portugal, but in the rest of Europe he gained great popularity with the publication of Jubiabá in France. The book had enthusiastic reviews, including that of Nobel prize Award winner Albert Camus.

In the early 1940s, Amado edited a literary supplement for the Nazi-funded political newspaper "Meio-Dia". [5] [6] Being a communist militant, from 1941 to 1942 Amado was compelled to go into exile to Argentina and Uruguay. When he returned to Brazil he separated from Matilde Garcia Rosa. In 1945 he was elected to the National Constituent Assembly, as a representative of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) (he received more votes than any other candidate in the state of São Paulo). He signed a law granting freedom of religious faith.

He remarried in 1945, to the writer Zélia Gattai. In 1947 they had a son, João Jorge. The same year his party was declared illegal, and its members arrested and persecuted. Amado chose exile once again, this time in France, where he remained until he was expelled in 1950. His daughter from his first marriage, Lila, died in 1949. From 1950 to 1952 Amado and Gattai lived in Czechoslovakia, where another daughter, Paloma, was born. He also travelled to the Soviet Union, winning the Stalin Peace Prize in 1951. [7] Recently released documents show that in this period he was investigated by CIA. [8]

Jorge Amado, 1972. National Archives of Brazil. Jorge Amado, 1972.tif
Jorge Amado, 1972. National Archives of Brazil.

On his return to Brazil in 1954, Amado abandoned active political life, leaving the Communist Party one year later. From that period on he dedicated himself solely to literature. His second creative phase began in 1958 with Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon , which was described by Jean-Paul Sartre as "the best example of a folk novel". Amado abandoned, in part, the realism and the social themes of his early works, producing a series of novels focusing mainly on feminine characters, devoted to a kind of smiling celebration of the traditions and the beauties of Bahia. In addition to Gabriela these novels included Tereza Batista: Home from the Wars and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. His depiction of the sexual customs of his land was scandalous to much of 1950s Brazilian society and for several years Amado could not even enter Ilhéus, where Gabriela was set, due to threats received for the alleged offense to the morality of the city's women. Besides the turning point, the Soviet Union kept publishing Amado's works shortly after their release in Portuguese. [9]

On 6 April 1961, he was elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters. On his death his wife was elected to replace him. Amado made the Academy the setting for one of his novels, Pen, Sword, Camisole. He received the title of Doctor honoris causa from several universities in Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Israel and France, as well as other honors in almost every South American country, including Obá de Xangô (santoon) of the Candomblé, the traditional Afro-Brazilian religion of Bahia. He was finally removed from the French Government blacklist in 1965 following the intervention of the then Minister of Culture, André Malraux. In 1984 he was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur by President François Mitterrand. [7]

The Jorge Amado Foundation in Salvador da Bahia Fundacaocasajorgeamado.jpg
The Jorge Amado Foundation in Salvador da Bahia

Amado's popularity as a writer has never declined. His books have been translated into 49 languages in 55 countries, and adapted into films, theatrical works and TV programs. They even inspired some samba schools of the Brazilian Carnival. In 1987, the House of Jorge Amado Foundation was created, in Salvador. It promotes the protection of Amado's estate and the development of culture in Bahia. The recently renovated building on the Pelourinho in Salvador contains a small museum and wall panels with the covers of international editions of his books.

Amado died on 6 August 2001. His ashes were spread in the garden of his house four days later.

In 4 December 2014 he received (posthumously) from the Legislative Assembly of Bahia appointment as Commander of Meritorious Citizen of the Freedom and Social Justice João Mangabeira (CBJM), due to his work in defense of social rights, the State's highest honor. [10] [11]


Selected works include:

Related Research Articles

<i>Cacau</i> (novel) novel by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado about the lives of those working on cocoa plantations in Brazil

Cacau is Brazilian Social Realism novel written by Jorge Amado.


Jubiabá is a Brazilian modernist novel written by Jorge Amado in 1935. It earned Amado an international reputation, being hailed by Albert Camus as “a magnificent and haunting” book.

<i>The Violent Land</i> novel by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado

The Violent Land is a Brazilian Modernist novel written by Jorge Amado in 1943 and published in English in 1945. It describes the battles to develop cacao plantations in the forests of the Bahia state of Brazil. Amado wrote that "No other of my books.. . is as dear to me as The Violent Land, in it lie my roots; it is from the blood from which I was created; it contains the gunfire that resounded during my early infancy", and suggested that the novel belongs to a distinct Brazilian "literature of cacao". By 1965, the book had been adapted as a film, as well as for the stage, television and radio.

<i>The Golden Harvest</i> novel by Brazilian writer Jorge Amado

The Golden Harvest is a Brazilian Modernist novel. It was written by Jorge Amado from 1942–44, published in Portuguese in 1944 and in English in 1992.

<i>Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon</i> novel by Brazilian writer Jorge Amado

Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon is a Brazilian modernist novel. It was written by Jorge Amado in 1958 and published in English in 1962. It is widely considered one of his finest works. A film adaptation of the same name was created in 1983.

<i>Shepherds of the Night</i> novel by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado

Shepherds of the Night is a Brazilian novel. It was written by Jorge Amado in 1964 and published in English in 1967.

<i>Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands</i> (novel) Novel by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands is a fantasy novel by Brazilian writer Jorge Amado, published in 1966; it was translated into English by Harriet de Onís in 1969. The novel was adapted for the first time into the 1976 film Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.

<i>Tereza Batista: Home from the Wars</i> modernist novel by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado

Tereza Batista: Home from the Wars is a Brazilian modernist novel. It was written by Jorge Amado in 1972 and was published in English in 1975, with a translation by Barbara Shelby.

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Tieta is a novel written by the Brazilian author Jorge Amado, published on August 17, 1977. Set in the 1970s, it narrates the return of Tieta to the remote village of Santana do Agreste, 26 years after being beaten and expelled by her father in front of all the town's people.

<i>Pen, Sword, Camisole</i> novel by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado

Pen, Sword, Camisole is a Brazilian Modernist novel. It was written by Jorge Amado in 1979. It was published in English in 1985, with a translation by Helen R. Lane.

Ilhéus Municipality in Nordeste, Brazil

Ilhéus is a major city located in the southern coastal region of Bahia, Brazil, 211 km south of Salvador, the state's capital. The city was founded in 1534 as Vila de São Jorge dos Ilhéus and is known as one of the most important tourism centers of the northeast of Brazil.

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Zélia Gattai Amado de Faria was a Brazilian photographer, memoirist, novelist and author of children's literature, as well as a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. Gattai wrote 14 different literary works, including children's books and her own personal memoirs have been widely published.

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Itabuna Municipality in Bahia, Brazil

Itabuna is a municipality in Bahia, Brazil. It is the 6th largest city in Bahia by population after Salvador, Feira de Santana, Camaçari, Vitória da Conquista, and Juazeiro. It had an estimated 213,685 residents in 2020. Itabuna covers a total area of 401 square kilometres (155 sq mi) and has a population density of 550 residents per square kilometer.

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<i>Gabriela</i> (1975 TV series)

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  1. 1 2 "Bis!: Clássicos de Jorge Amado adaptados para cinema, TV e teatro (in Portuguese)". Rede Globo. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  2. "Recordando Gilberto Amado". Brasil 247 (in Portuguese). 14 September 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  3. "Vera Amado Clouzot, atriz de cinema de (As Diabólicas, e O Salário do Medo)". O Explorador (in Portuguese). 7 August 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  4. "Jorge Amado (in Portuguese)". UOL. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  5. "Os intelectuais e o Estado Novo (interview with Joel Silveira)" (in Portuguese). Observatório da Imprensa.
  6. Mario Magalhães (8 August 2001). "Jorge Amado foi o autor mais espionado" (in Portuguese). Folha On Line. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  7. 1 2 Zélia Gattai (1988). Jardim de Inverno. Editora Record. ISBN   85-1-033969-4.
  8. "Documentos da CIA revelam investigações sobre Jorge Amado – 11/02/2017 – Ilustrada – Folha de S.Paulo". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  9. Darmaros, Marina (24 January 2017). "Por que ler Jorge Amado em russo: a cultura soviética revelada na tradução de Gabriela". Tradterm (in Portuguese). 28: 223–248. doi:10.11606/issn.2317-9511.v28i0p223-248 (inactive 6 May 2021). ISSN   2317-9511.CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of May 2021 (link)
  10. Insitucional. "Taurino Araújo receives the title of Meritorious Citizen in the Legislative Assembly". Gabinete Português de Leitura.
  11. Institucional. "Jorge Amado is honoured with the highest decoration of Legislative Assembly of Bahia". Legislative Assembly of Bahia. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
Preceded by
Otávio Mangabeira
Brazilian Academy of Letters – Occupant of the 23rd chair

Succeeded by
Zélia Gattai