The author’s first book reading in a foreign country was a success in São Paulo, Brazil. The book, To Belém & Back, about a long trip into Brazil’s backlands, was launched in São Paulo in 2015. As a book reading necessitates using much English, the event was generously attended, with over 20 participants.
Ben was kindly introduced by Ricardo Vitiello, of São Paulo’s Butantâ borough. As people settled in, a 20′ film titled Tiradentes2Bélem was exhibited, followed by the reading of an excerpt, of the author’s encounter with corrupt highway police. Completing the event was an extended Q&A in Portuguese.
One of the author’s favorite footnotes (p.129) was read:
So strong is the Brazilian urge to party that in 1726 the Bishop of Olinda had to decree: “do not consent to the holdings of comedies, conferences, performances, nor dances inside any Church, chapel, or its surroundings,” according to sociologist Gilberto Freyre in his magisterial work Casa-Grande & Senzala, p. 327.
The author wishes to thank Earthdog Press and the Casa de Cultura do Butantá for so kindly hosting, and especially so many participants who braved an afternoon downpour immediately prior.