I searched for the story of Brazil for five years, a literary pathfinder wandering in quest of the untold saga of the Brazilians and their epic history.
In these pages, I share my mighty journey of twenty thousand kilometers across the length and breadth of Brazil in 1981. I traveled through the heart of a nation in which the flame of freedom was newly lit after years of military dictatorship, the journal I kept colored by the voices and emotions of the era.
I explore the exhaustive processes that go into the making of a novel with a first draft of three-quarters of million words written in the old-fashioned way, by hand. I reveal the early genesis of my ideas for plot lines and characters, the detailed planning of my outline.
Of all the accolades a writer could hope for at the end of an epic work like Brazil none brought more joy than a simple question asked by the famed Brazilian historian and sociologist Gilberto Freyre.
"I should like to know if Uys had an unpublished jornal intime of a Brazilian family?"
There was no private journal, just the will to understand the Brazilian "thing" and a passion for writing and storytelling, which lies at the heart of every good novel.
Brazil - The epic of a great nation