Jabuti Award: 60 years of incentive to reading and to the Brazilian literature


Curiously, one of the first books that made me fall in love with Brazilian literature was written by Jorge Amado, the first author to win the Jabuti Award in the “Novel” category with “Gabriela, Cravo e Canela” (Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon) (1958). At that time, I never imagined that I would be in charge of the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and would participate in the organization of the event for two terms. Just as fate made me interested in “Capitães da Areia” (Captains of the Sands) (1937) when I was still a boy, it also gave me the opportunity to participate in the history of the biggest and most important award in the Brazilian publishing market, which turns 60 in 2018 with a legacy of success.

The Jabuti has gone through several transformations throughout its history and today it contemplates the best Brazilian works in 18 categories. Among them, Brazilian Book Published Abroad, to recognize the work of international publishers who value our market. The category covers any genres released abroad (in first edition) of Brazilian born, naturalized or foreign authors who have permanent residency in Brazil. The category is part of the internationalization work promoted by Brazilian Publishers, an industry project to promote exports of Brazilian editorial content created through a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).

In 2017, the big winner of this category was the Penguin Random House UK edition of “Um Copo de Cólera” (A Cup of Rage) by the author Raduan Nassar. In second place, “Enigmas da Primavera” (Enigmas of Spring) published by Dalkey Archive Press publishing house, written by João Almino, and, in third, “O Irmão Alemão” (My German Brother) by Chico Buarque, published by Penguin Random House UK, of the Dutch company Bezige Bij .

This is the second year in which the category is part of Jabuti and we want, more and more, to stimulate the relationship between our production and the international market. An example of this was the creation of the Brazilian Publishers Translation Fellowship, which provides support for foreign publishers who wish to publish Brazilian authors in any language. Brazil is a multicultural nation with a rich and unique literature. For this reason, any reader can recognize himself/herself in our stories, whether Brazilian or not.

The winners of the Jabuti Award will be announced on November 8th during a ceremony organized by CBL and will be marked forever in the history of our publishing production. Those who want to better know the award and its winners over the last six decades will have the opportunity to do so also at Brazil’s stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair, from October 10th to 14th.

After all, boys and girls of all ages from anywhere in the world deserve to fall in love with all these books, just as I myself fell in love one day.

Luís Antonio Torelli

President of the Brazilian Book Chamber