“Phenotypes” by Paulo Scott is published in England and United Stated by the publishing company And Other Stories

14/01/2022

The year started with an important Brazilian launching in the international market. In January 4th, the literary work ‘“Phenotypes”, a success in Brazil, has arrived on the English and American bookstore shelves by the publishing company And Other Stories. The book authored by Paulo Scott, a poet and writer from the South of Brazil, was first published in Brazil in 2019 by Companhia das Letras, a publishing company that is member of the Brazilian Publishers — an Internationalization project of Brazilian editorial content carried out  by a partnership between by the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).

Translated to the English language by Daniel Hahn, the work tells the story of two brothers, Lourenço, who has black skin, and Frederico, who has brown skin. Their life experiences sometimes bring them closer, and sometimes push them away. It is a narrative about guiltiness, privilege and the strive against racial inequality. The book was critically acclaimed in Brazil. Phenotypes was a finalist for the Literary Novel of the 62nd Edition Jabuti Award and it won the Açorianos  Literature Award in 2020.

The partnership between Scott and And Other Stories came since his first publishing ‘ “Nowhere People”, which also was translated by Daniel Hahn. The work published in Brazil by Companhia das Letras in 2011 was awarded with the Petrobrás Literary Creation Incentive in 2010, and it also won the National Library Foundation’s Machado de Assis Award in 2012. The repercussion of the book abroad was very positive, being well accepted and evaluated by readers in English and American territory, which demonstrates good chances of repeating the success in the foreign reception of “Phenotypes”.

The expectations concerning the launching of the work abroad are optimistic. ‘‘The publishing company And Other Stories works on its books and welcomes the written content of its authors. It is a publishing company that mastered how to communicate with readers that are avid for new narratives, protagonism and dictions. With ‘‘Phenotypes’’, considering that today I am better known there, I believe that it will have a good repercussion’’, Paulo expects, concerning the acceptance of his work by the international audience.

“In Brazil, a country worldwide known for a supposedly harmonious coexistence between very different ethnicities and cultures, the story of Lourenço and Federico makes us reflect on the perversities of racism as a collective disease that interferes in such a disastrous way in the subjectivity of all people, whether those directly affected and those who erroneously consider themselves immune to the effects of its violence. The narrative triggers in its readers perceptions of truths that only occur on the fictional level, renewing repressed sensibilities and questionings, which inertia and the civilizing order do not allow us to learn easily”, says Paulo.

The novel’s main themes are colorism and racism in Brazil, and it has grown increasingly, but reaching few fictional works that assume these themes in the composition of this scenario.

“Phenotypes” is a book about anger, and anger is universal and timeless. A novel about the rupture of a process of not wanting and not being able to see, think and face the enormous distance that always exists in relation to the other, when the lens of the narrative is shifted to the general identity and its perception in a country that has a huge fear of looking in the mirror and facing its most terrible idiosyncrasies, as is the case in Brazil”, the author explains.

Although the goals of the anti-racist strives are the same, racial issues differ at some points in each country. For Scott, there are differences in the context of the Brazilian reality for other nationalities. “Abroad, I realize that, perhaps due to the obvious distance, the readings are more likely to perceive, to a greater extent, the complexity and problematic, contained in the various layers of the script, of the plot. My narratives are uncomfortable in a way that may be more costly, more painful to process for those who are closer to the told urgency, literally transfigured and affected by the great illusion of peace and happiness that is Brazil”, Scott quotes about the interpretation of the racial inequality, very present in the book, by the international public.

‘‘Few attitudes can be more racists and opposing to anti-racism than saying that in Brazil there is no more racism. Racial inequality and colorism are still taboo subjects, which is tragic. Everyone loses with the absence of this public debate, with this dialogue that was swept under the rug, but in recent years it has begun to happen and provoke necessary changes”, concludes the Southern.

About Brazilian Publishers

Created in 2008, Brazilian Publishers is a sectoral project to encourage trades of Brazilian editorial content, the result of a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). The initiative aims to promote the Brazilian publishing sector in the global market in an oriented and articulated manner, contributing to the training of publishing companies.