One of a writer's special joys is hearing from readers who've been inspired by his or her work.
Over the years, I've collected these personal notes from my readers. Some are from Brazilian immigrants in the United States, for whom Brazil brings their children an extraordinary understanding of the land of their heritage. Some are from people with a profound knowledge of our neighbor to the south. Some are from readers like Birdie Hope:
"I read your entire book aloud to my husband on a series of trips we made. --He drove, I read. -- We started in Mato Grosso, Brazil and finished somewhere in Kansas! The edition we read was an even 1,000 pages. Loved it! It's fabulous. Thanks for writing it."
My mind boggles as I think of Birdie and her husband trekking all the way from the Pantanal to Route 66.
I've posted a selection of letters from my readers on my website. Here's a list of the Top 10 reasons why they liked Brazil:
1. "Truly a Masterpiece - a fantastic journey through the centuries"
2. "A Brazilian Rite of Passage"
3. "A Truly Amazing Read"
4. "Brazil is a Classic"
5. "I feel more 'Brazilian’ after reading Brazil'"
6. "A Monumental Novel - As Great and Grand, as Michener's 'Source'"
7. "Brazil draws me as surely as the mystery of South America itself"
8. "I Am Mesmerized"
9. "Loved it! It's Fabulous!"
10. "A Beautiful Work! It’s gripping, easy to understand."
It is both humbling and heartwarming to know just how much Brazil has meant to those who have taken this literary journey to the heart and soul of a great nation.