JOYCE CAVALCCANTE is a journalist and author of six novels plus several short stories and articles that today appear in eight anthologies. Born in the North East of Brazil, in Fortaleza, a pristine, equatorial city of sun, sea and enthusiasm, she has focused her writer’s eye on the resigned lives of women bred for generations to pray, marry and die. She has woven these elements into all her books, while living in Rio de Janeiro, where she learned about life in the big city, as well as in New York City, Washington D.C., and Sao Paulo, where she currently lives and works.
Joyce is a board director member of RELAT - Red de Escritoras Latinoamericanas (Latin American Women Writers' Net). She is also the current president of REBRA- Rede de Escritoras Brasileiras (Brazilian Women Writers' Net).
Under this provocative title comes the most recent novel by Joyce Cavalccante. "The Devil Sucking Mango" is an idiomatic expression widely used in the northeast of Brazil to express any superlative thing. Zezito, the main character, is such an ugly person that his ugliness can astonish people. However, he is remarkably smart! The author used such a meaningful Brazilian expression to provide the literature a delightful and entertaining story that takes place between 1971 and 1985 in São Paulo, a city moved by politicians' ambition, business men's greed, the free love of the young and an audacious waiter from the Brazilian state of Ceará.
Following the best classic works, this fiction was written in a fluent and pleasant language. The characters go through fifteen years of the actual Brazilian history, which is used as background to the strong emotions they live. The novel has an outstanding end that justifies its well-chosen title.
Joyce has always been known as a polemical author, since she writes about such controversial themes as female sexuality, the women's search for a solid position in an adverse labor market, the problems they face when trying to survive in a world controlled by men. Here, besides confirming this trend, the author also affirms her stimulating and mature literary style, which has delighted readers not only in Brazil but also in foreign countries.
This large novel received an award from the Art Critic’s Association of Sao Paulo as the best fiction of 1993. In this book the author tries a new story line, using elements stored in her memory from childhood. For the first time she writes about the North East of
Brazil, describing a sensual and modern place which suffers from the same problems it endured at the turn of the century as well as newer ones
such as the corruption practised using the incentives given by the government to combat the draught. The plot describes the violence committed
by the strong against the weak. Within the narrative is the story of a man who lives with four women under the same roof. Full of irreverent
and delectable language, this book is as full of life and humor as the region it describes. Indeed, it is a book worth reading many times.
A large book of serigraphs and poems created in partnership with the italian artist Elvio Becheroni. It is accompanied by an English translation and was published as a collector's edition with only 180 copies signed by the artist after original plates were destroyed.
This book is a collection of erotic short stories written in essentially feminine language. Critics said that the book brings together life and literature, two things the author always makes a point of merging. This book - all embracing and full of clarity - is written by a woman as a courageous wake up call to those who become intimidated by life and by the world, those who get lost in the out of the way corners and eventually give up. This book distinguished Joyce Cavalcante as one of the great voices for this maltreated country in terms of true literary creativity. (Alvaro Alves de Faria, poet, critic and journalist).
Published when books were being censored, seized and burned in Brazil, this audaciously erotic work was one of the first to make it past the scrutiny of the censors, appearing to the public in the language of poetry yet written as prose. Claudio Willer, poet, translator, essayist, and critic, wrote in the preface of this book: The method chosen by Joyce Cavalcante is a text which innocently describes an erotic subject. This innocence stems from a lack of guilt and prejudice, and a complete acceptance of pleasure and the physicality of being. Joyce has worked more like a stone sculptor, bringing the material to its essential core, rather than like a painter, symbolizing and translating the external reality into the text as if on to a large canvas. There is no doubt that Joyce Cavalcante’s latest book makes a significant contribution.
Her second book is a curious narrative about a woman who suffers because of her exuberant beauty. Writer and Federal Deputy Heloneida Studart commented: Joyce Cavalcante’s latest book, title and all, is a real eye opener, portraying as it does the situation of one single woman yet reflecting the condition of thousands of women. Though it is not its intention, this is an indictment of many aspects of Brazilian society and confirms the presence of a skilled novelist among female Brazilian writers who have taken on the task of revealing the silent anguish of women in our society.
Her career was launched with this novel describing the lives of a married couple in which the husband is a paraplegic and the obedient wife allows herself to become involved in a platonic relationship with another man. This novel definitely has a surprise ending because the reader may choose among four different outcomes according to his taste. This book was highly praised by the critics: Joyce Cavalcante is one of the few writers of the post- vanguard generation to take full advantage of the unique timing of her debut. Today she appears on the world’s literary scene with a reputation that gives her a place in the first rank of Brazilian fiction (Pedro Lyra, critic essayist and professor of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).
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