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Crooked Plow: Translating Social Justice in Brazil

10/05/2023 at 6:15 pm - 8:30 pm

Crooked Plow:

Translating Social Justice in Brazil

Join us for a discussion of Brazilian author Itamar Vieira Juniors best-selling novel Crooked Plow, now available in English. Our speakers will explore translation, literary writing, social justice work, and the long shadow that slavery casts. Co-Sponsored by the University Seminar on Public Humanities: Expanding Scholarship and Pedagogy; Columbia University Department of History; The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities; Columbia Global Centers, Rio De Janeiro; Institute of Latin American Studies. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book

Deep in Brazil’s neglected Bahia hinterland, two sisters find an ancient knife beneath their grandmother’s bed and, momentarily mystified by its power, decide to taste its metal. The shuddering violence that follows marks their lives and binds them together forever. This fascinating and gripping story about the lives of subsistence farmers in Brazil’s poorest region, three generations after the abolition of slavery, is at once fantastic and realist, covering themes of family, spirituality, slavery and its aftermath and political struggle.

Crooked Plow has been heralded as the most important Brazilian novel of the century so far, and Vieira Junior was profiled by The New York Times in early 2022; “Black Authors Shake Up Brazil’s Literary Scene.” Translated by Johnny Lorenz in June 2023, Crooked Plow has been praised as “[an] engrossing story [that] gives visibility to many who have traditionally been marginalized,” (Washington Post), “an impressive first novel by an important literary voice” (Financial Times), and “a compelling vision of history’s downtrodden and neglected” (New York Times Book Review).


Itamar Vieira Junior
author, Crooked Plow

Johnny Lorenz
translator, Crooked Plow

Keisha-Khan Perry
author, Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil



6:15 pm - 8:30 pm
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