We’re delighted to share a playlist of all the songs mentioned in Caio Fernando Abreu’s Moldy Strawberries, translated from the Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato. Featuring music by Angela Ro Ro, Caetano Veloso, Dalva de Oliveira, Billie Holiday, and Carlos Vardel, the list of songs offers an enchanting window into the world of the book, which navigates a Brazil transformed by the AIDS epidemic and stifling military dictatorship of the ’80s. The songs are listed in the order they appear in the book, as many of the stories have instructions like “to be read to the sound of…”. We encourage you to listen in anticipation of this striking collection, due out next spring.
The playlist was compiled by the book’s translator, Bruna Dantas Lobato. You can find the link to listen here.
Moldy Strawberries is out in April 2022. Suspended between fear and longing, Abreu’s characters grasp for connection. A man speckled with Carnival glitter crosses a crowded dance floor and seeks the warmth and beauty of another body. A budding office friendship between two young men grows into a “strange and secret harmony.” One man desires another but fears that their complot might crumble with one clumsy word or gesture. Junkies, failed revolutionaries, poets, and conflicted artists face threats at every turn. But, inwardly ferocious and resilient, they heal. For Abreu there is beauty on the horizon, mingled with the light of memory and decay.
Caio Fernando Abreu (1948-1996) was one of the most influential Brazilian writers of the 1970s and ’80s. The author of twenty books, including twelve story collections and two novels, he has been awarded major literary prizes, including the prestigious Jabuti Prize for Fiction a total of three times. During the military dictatorship in Brazil, his homoerotic writing was heavily censored. In 1994, while exiled in France, he tested HIV positive. He died two years later in his hometown.
Bruna Dantas Lobato received an MFA in Fiction from New York University and an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa. Her stories, essays, and translations from Portuguese have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, A Public Space, BOMB, Two Lines, and Massachusetts Review. She was a 2018 A Public Space Fellow, a 2019 PEN/Heim recipient, and a Yaddo resident.
We hope you enjoy listening!