Paraná Literary PrizeAlexandre Vidal Porto
Alexandre Vidal Porto was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1965. He is the author of three novels and a number of uncollected short stories. His work has been published in Dutch, English, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. His novel SERGIO Y. GOES TO AMERICA won the Paraná Literary Prize in 2012.
Vidal Porto is a career diplomat, Harvard-trained lawyer, and advocate for sexual minority rights. He is a frequent contributor to Folha de S.Paulo, the leading Brazilian newspaper, for which he wrote a weekly column from 2012 to 2016. The author has lived in Brasília, New York City, Santiago de Chile, Washington DC, Mexico City and Tokyo. Currently, he works and lives in Frankfurt.
For further information, please visit: > alexandrevidalporto.com/
»When faced with crisis, they choose life. His writing moves from dark to light, as his characters walk to higher ground for safety.«
Bruna Dantas Lobato, Bomb Magazine
Up to what point is it possible to hide from oneself? In Chlorine (“Cloro”), a family tragedy undermines the life of an affluent homosexual in the closet. This is a small study on the irresistible force of sexuality. Constantino is a dead narrator. In the limbo where he finds himself, he revisits decisive facts of his life– up to his unexpected death at age fifty. A well-established lawyer in São Paulo, he learned in childhood that “being a faggot was no good.” From an early age, he concealed his desires and took on a heterosexual persona. He married his teenage sweetheart Debora and fathered two children. A tragic accident destroys the fragile balance which he maintained, and he is suddenly confronted with his homosexuality. He starts to lead a double life, has sexual encounters with men and falls for Emílio, a diplomat he meets in Brasília. Through the voices of Constantino and his family and friends, Alexandre Vidal Porto presents a clear narrative that is needed in times like ours—when to be oneself is often an act of courage.
»The last part of the drama culminates in revealing the full extent of the dilemma of the double life, as if to say, ‘your hiding place is not impermeable. Life penetrates everything’. Or, in this case, death. A novel with a firm and fluid writing style.«
»But not everyone is transgressive. Not everyone confronts society by submitting to desire. Nor can we demand this of anyone. But we can demand that society accept the desires and the choices of everyone.«
Tatiana Salem Levy
»The story of this fictional ‘life of silence’ outlines themes relevant to queer studies and addresses the continuity of a homosexual’s way of existence in a heterosexist society.«
»Although the theme is LGBT, the book transcends because it can also be read as an example of how bourgeois society imposes its standards of behaviour.«
»There is a wonderful delicacy of thought in it combined with a bold narrative imagination which surprises the reader right up to the last pages.«
Professor Michael Worton, from the University College London
»Undoubtedly a compelling book, which proves the talent and mastery of narrative of Alexandre Vidal Porto, one of the great figures of contemporary Brazilian literature.«
Favo do Mellone
Sergio Y. Goes to America
Sergio Y. Goes to America (“Sergio Y. Vai à América”) Armando is one of the best therapists in São Paulo. After a trip to New York, his 17-year-old patient Sergio decides to quit therapy abruptly. His short explanation to Armando is that he has finally “found his way to happiness” and must pursue it. For years Armando is left with no clue of what happened to his patient, until he learns that he is living a fulfilled life in New York – as Sandra. Weeks later, however, he is shocked to read about Sergio’s unexpected death. Trying to get to the root of both Sergio and Sandra’s life, Armando starts investigating on his own.
A surprising and inspirational tale about the importance of seeking happiness.
»A beautiful, moving, profound book. Wonderfully accomplished and subtle.«
Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree
»That Sergio Y. Goes to America won the 2012 Paraná Literary Prize is no surprise; this is an engrossing, well-paced, impeccably structured novel. The parallel story of migration which Armando includes in his narrative – the story-within-the-story – is poignant, powerful and well-etched. The story of Sergio’s Y.’s journey of self-discovery and Armando’s investigation is compelling. Sergio Y. is a slim, perfect novel and a must-read.«
»Porto’s captivating, impeccably structured novel is a detective story wrapped around a deeper exploration of identity. (…) a methodical and deeply layered narrative about the sacrifices we make in the search for happiness. «
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
»One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. This is one of those books that linger in your head for weeks.«
Zoë Perry, translator of Paulo Coelho
»With Sergio Y. Goes to America, Alexandre Vidal Porto makes clear why he is one of the essential writers in Brazilian contemporary literature.«
»It is impossible for the reader to put this book down.«
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, forthcoming September 2023
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2018, 152 p.
Finalist of the Jabuti Prize 2019
Longlist of the Oceanos Prize 2019
Complete English translation by Alison Entrekin available
Sergio Y. Goes to America (“Sergio Y. Vai à América”)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letras 2014, 181 p.
Longlist of the Dublin Literary Award 2016
Longlist of the São Paulo Prize 2014
Paraná Literary Prize 2012
Best Summer Books, Financial Times 2016
Italy: Edizioni E/O 2016 · UK/USA: Europa Editions 2016
Matias in the City (“Matias na Cidade”)
Rio de Janeiro: Record 2005, 159 p.; São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, forthcoming 2023
In: Crows (“Corvos”)
Portugal: Granta/Tinta da China 2020
PARTICIPATION IN ANTHOLOGIES
Contemporary Brazilian Literature (“Littérature Brésilienne Contemporaine – Édition spéciale Salon du Livre de Paris 2015”)
Tupi’s Widow (“La veuve de Tupi”)
Brazil: Mombak Éditeurs 2015
Free Style (“Nado Libre”)
In: Artur’s Gold (“El oro de Artur”) and Car Crash Without Victims (“Accidente de tránsito sin víctimas”)
Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/UNAM 2013
Passions and Obsessions (“Pasiones y Obsesiones”)
In: Passions’ Killer (“Matador de Pasiones”)
Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica 2012