The 10 best Brazilian novels of 2022

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), one of the most complete – and complex – thinkers in history, defended the need for a new beginning as one of life’s central questions. Central to Heidegger’s thinking is, among other things, the appreciation of the many discoveries that man makes during a life that always seems to him too short (and it is in reality), but certainly takes on other colors, an unexpected freshness, some powerful enough to make it deviate from the abyss, while urging us to repeatedly test new limits, as if, more than oxygen, water and bread, we should first provide ourselves with a good bag of coincidences. Man’s restlessness in the face of the passage of time – tireless, cruel, cruel – and its cornucopia of mysteries, the solution of which is merely illusory, gives humanity one of the few certainties that can be extracted from this muddy and Edenic field that is life: it never miss a good opportunity.

Few ideas go back to the image of taking advantage of the world, of this and even of another world in which they will live – now enchanted, as Guimarães Rosa would say – the rare women and men who occupied a prominent place on Earth, which is a tale in smooth language, full of lyrical allegories, about the life and even more about the afterlife of two prides that the Brazilian breeze no longer shakes, much less kisses. “A Vida Futura” (Companhia das Letras) by the journalist Sérgio Rodrigues intends to interrupt the eternal sleep of none other than Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908) and José Martiniano de Alencar (1829-1877), two of the great connoisseurs of the vernacular on this ground discovered by Cabral, besides of course story-tellers of incomparable talent. In “A Vida Futura”, Rodrigues composes an analysis very much in his style, sharp, blunt, precise, about the “new Portuguese” that has been spoken in Brazil since urgent and fair guidelines emerged as the most dignified treatment for non- binary people, those who do not identify as a specific gender. The author is an amateur philologist (and a good one) and draws attention to the problem of neutral language, which is dangerous precisely because it reinforces prejudice.

Naturally, “A Vida Futura” and nine other Brazilian publications, all launched in this busy 2022, are on our list of the best of the year, already a classic here at Bula. To achieve that, we were guided by the responses to the newsletter sent to readers via e-mail, as well as by interactions between readers on our profiles on Facebook and Twitter. The texts for the synopses were provided by the respective publishers.

There’s still time to catch up on reading and challenge these top ten scorers to the million-dollar derby. Complete the team, don’t choke the scream in your throat anymore and go out to embrace this championship where everyone wins!

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