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A Hero for the People: Stories of the Brazilian Backlands Paperback – May 3, 2013
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More About the Author
Arthur received a Fellowship in Fiction from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, three annual awards for short fiction from the Catholic Press Association, and 2nd place in the 2008 Tom Howard Fiction Contest. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in many magazines & anthologies. He is the author of A Hero For The People: Stories From The Brazilian Backlands (Press 53, 2013) - winner of the 2014 Catholic Arts & Literature Award - and of The Book of Jotham (Tuscany Press, 2013) - winner of the 2012 Tuscany Novella Prize. He is Judge of the 2014 & 2015 Tom Howard/John Reid Short Fiction & Essay Contests, and of the 2015 Dappled Things J.F. Powers Short Story Contest.
Top Customer Reviews
It could be Brother Michel who in humility underestimates his own value, or Jack whose premonition startles the reader. It could be Carla who learns to see the dark pain in another's soul or Dave who finds his own dark side in his treatment of the evil Tumbao. The characters of these stories haunted this reader as each tale wove a person of depth, and profound uniqueness. I would read one story and thinking it was the best character portrayal I had ever read be blown away by the next story. Powers captures the very essence of each character and creates a collection of tales that is unforgettable.
I knew little about Brazil or the problems of the people who live there. After reading these stories, I have an increased sense of who Brazilians are and what these special people face as the country develops and faces the future. I understand because these stories have been written by a master storyteller. I don't know if Powers has any Irish blood in him but he is a true seanchai'. A seanchai was a storyteller who roamed around the Irish countryside and kept the ancient and unwritten stories of the Irish people alive by telling the tales and passing them on. Powers has done that for the Brazilians.Read more ›
I found myself, about a third of the way through the book, checking to see if it was a memoir or a collection of stories. For me, this speaks to a few things.
First, it was so well-written that, as fiction, it seemed real. As in, "pinch me, I'm riding shotgun across Brazil" real.
Second, I'm not a big fan of most memoirs (but yes, I love a good story, so there's that). The fact that I was LIKING this even though I thought it was a memoir (or I wasn't sure) was a big thumbs up for the writing and storytelling.
I always forget how much I enjoy collections of stories. They're like assorted hard candies...if you don't like one, it's not such a big deal because there's a good one coming up soon. In this bag of stories, though, there weren't any bad ones.
Each story in this is crafted and fine-tuned. They leave you satisfied and yet wanting more.
There's an adventure and, within that, a deeper theme. You almost get the sense that you're traveling along through Brazil's backlands, and that the people there, while delightfully unique, aren't so different from you. There's a taste to this book that made me look up Powers's other work.
Dare I say this is literature? Maybe. At the very least, it's a book I really, really, REALLY enjoyed, with a wow on top.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very powerful set of stories which leave the reader with some serious questions. How is our world affected by what we do and by what we fail to do? Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ann Frailey
I lived in Brazil and knew Arthur Powers well while we were both members of the Peace Corps. He is one of the brightest people I know. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Joseph P. Abravaya
Suppose a young man is shot during a gunfight and paralyzed from the neck down. And suppose you're an Evangelical pastor who has a gift of healing. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Elma Schemenauer
Arthur Powers is one of those authors who could write just about anything, and I'd be enthralled. "A Hero for the People: Stories of the Brazilian Backlands" is certainly... Read morePublished 14 months ago by MysteryAuthor
I am thrilled that the author wrote stories of the 'cerrado', an area i know well. His understanding of the harsh landscape, compassion for the people who inhabit the 'cerrado',... Read morePublished 14 months ago by M. Nascimento
I love to read books about different cultures and people. I enjoy learning about the differences and similarities I share with them. This collection of short stories is varied. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Melanie
A Hero for the People by Arthur Powers is a quiet collection of short stories about the Brazilian backlands that examine faith and perseverance among people who were downtrodden... Read morePublished 17 months ago by S. Agusto-Cox
A Hero For the People turned out to be not at all what I was expecting from this story collection, but really glad that I got a chance to read them. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Stephanie
I've read plenty of short story collections, and I have to admit that this is seriously the best collection I've read. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Svetlana