I draw on my acclaimed historical novel, Brazil, for this staggering task. My "Twitter Edition" is tweeted live for 10,000 indefatigable followers of the epic which opens with the Tupiniquin Indians in May 1491 and continues to the 21st century.
Brazil on Twitter couldn't be more different from my original manuscript. A South African-born author now living in Boston, I spent five years on the writing of my book about Brazil, a land that captivated me since childhood. My research included a 15,000-mile journey in Brazil, almost exclusively by bus to get a feel for the country.
My travels took me into the sertão, the arid backlands of the Northeast and to the Casas Grandes of coastal Pernambuco. I voyaged the Amazon from Belém to Manaus and rode by bus down to southernmost Rondônia. I followed the route of the bandeirantes, the Brazilian pathfinders, west of São Paulo and roamed the highlands of Minas Gerais.
The writing of Brazil took five years. Like my fictional hero, Amador Flóres da Silva, I knew periods of utter loneliness and fear; times when I felt the caatinga closing in on me. Always, I broke through the barrier. I never lost the will to understand the Brazilian ˜thing."
When I sat down to write my original manuscript, I did so the old-fashioned way by hand. It was a staggering 2,454 pages penned on unlined scribbling blocks and later typed up on a 1930s Remington Royal with a draft of 756,200 words! A typewriter bought on a yard sale for $1. The first edition of Brazil was pared down to 1,000 pages and published by Simon and Schuster.
The newest edition, with an afterword that brings the story to the 21st century, is on Amazon Kindle and also in Print (personally signed copies available.)
What I love about Twitter is the ability to reach a new worldwide audience “ one tweet at a time!" I post 20 to 40 tweets a session, numbered, and in self-contained excerpts.
In its long form, Brazil, has won accolades from reviewers and readers across the globe:
"Uys has accomplished what no Brazilian author from José de Alencar to Jorge Amado was able to do. He is the first outsider with the total honesty and sympathy to write our national epic in all its decisive episodes.“ -- Professor Wilson Martins, Jornal do Brasil.
"A Masterpiece! Brazil has the look and feel of an enchanted virgin forest, a totally new and original world for the reader-explorer to discover." -- L'Express, Paris
"Pulsing with vigor, this is a vast novel to tell the story of a vast country. Uys recreates history through the eyes and actions of an awesome cast of characters seen at 'ground level." - Publishers Weekly.
"Uys has interwoven five centuries of Brazilian history and generations of two fictional families into a massive, richly detailed novel, Michenerian in sweep and scope, informative and intriguing. Uys has a sense of pace and an eye for detail that rarely fail him. "-- Washington Post
In the wide world of Twitter, @BrazilANovel offers a totally new and original way to discover Brazil, a great nation and its people, one tweet at a time.