Machado de Assis
MACHADO DE ASSIS (1839–1908), Brazil’s greatest novelist, was born a mulatto and an epileptic in a poor carioca district of Rio de Janiero. In the course of his lifetime he never ventured more than a few miles outside his native city. He worked as a newspaper reporter before entering the civil service where he rose to become head of a department. He devoted his spare time to writing, publishing more than 200 short stories and nine novels, including Esau and Jacob, Yayá Garcia and The Wager. Machado de Assis was one of the founders, and the first president, of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
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